In its Thirteenth Biennial Report <http://www.ijc.org/en/publications/pdf/13br_e.pdf> on Great Lakes Water Quality, released <http://www.ijc.org/rel/news/070208_e.htm> on February 8, the International Joint Commission recommends that the governments of Canada and the United States create and apply an uncommonly strong Accountability Framework for Great Lakes restoration and protection under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The Thirteenth Biennial Report urges the governments to present a preliminary Accountability Framework by June 2008. The report sets out the following elements for such a Framework: 1. Developing a rigorous, coordinated plan that identifies and prioritizes the actions needed to realize the goals of the Agreement, includes measurable targets and sets timelines for completion - such targets and timelines are generally not in the current agreement. 2. Whether it be an existing or a new organization, some binational entity needs to be fully and clearly charged with the responsibility to gather information that can be used to assess progress toward the Agreement's purpose and goals. 3. Providing substantive and meaningful progress reports on a triennial basis; and 4. Using the reports to review and adjust action plans. The governments of the United States and Canada are currently leading a comprehensive review of the Agreement, for the first time since 1987. The Commission also recommended that the governments accelerate their review so that the results coincide with the release of the draft Accountability Framework.