At the Deepwater Horizon site alone in the past five years, an entire year's worth of inspections did not happen. Of 60 required inspections, only 48 occurred, and that includes four missed inspections out of the 16 required since President Obama's inauguration.
That's evidence to some of a wider problem.
"It's plain that there's a long history here of a lax oversight role by the part of the Minerals Management Service," said Wesley Warren, Director of Programs for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
On Monday, one of the regulators who was charged with monitoring offshore oil programs in the gulf for more than a decade announced he would retire at the end of the month. Chris Oynes, associate administrator for the Minerals Management Service, is the first administration official to resign since the spill.
As Congress focuses on government failures, President Obama is promising to scrutinize the BP spill and its aftermath.
The president will sign an executive order to form a commission to investigate the cause of the spill, whether it could have been prevented and the government's response, senior administration officials said.
The seven-person presidential commission resembles the panels that followed the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle and the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident, and will include no current government employees or elected officials.
While debate continues in Washington, BP said today that it is successfully siphoning more oil from the leak. The company said it was collecting about 2,000 barrels of oil per day using a 4-inch tube, which is double the amount it could suck up when it started using the technique.
The siphon is the first technique that has worked at all after weeks of failed attempts to control the spill.
"We're very encouraged by this, but this doesn't stop the flow," said Doug Settles, BP's chief operating officer.
BP said it would continue to increase the amount of oil it collects through the tube, even as it prepares a "top kill" operation to attempt to completely plug the leak sometime next week.
Still, as of now, oil continues to seep into the gulf from the leak, joining the five million gallons of crude that have already been released.
"Unfortunately, this is a huge experiment in the sea floor of the gulf," said Michael Hirschfeld, chief scientist for Oceana. "We really don't have any idea how it's going to turn out, but we know it's not good."
ABC's Jake Tapper, Ayana Harry, Azfar Deen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.