The intergovernmental grant system as seen by local, State, and Federal officials : Page: 52
This book is part of the collection entitled: Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and was provided to Digital Library by the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.
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Our biggest problem in receiving Federal
grants results from the fact that prior
to our receiving funding, the state sets up
rules and regulations and has the priority
in requesting such funding from the Federal
programs as they see fit. We find that
with changes in state officials and thereby
changes in the administration of such
programs, the local units of government
do not receive the assistance intended
by the federally funded programs.
-Chairman, county commissioners,
Federal grants indirectly received
through the state cause a reduction in
program funds available because the state
charges overhead to perform tasks which
we must duplicate in reporting. Mayor,
In most cases the state should be bypassed
entirely since funds which could
be used for the delivery of services are
siphoned off by state administration.
Counties generally are large enough and
sophisticated enough to deal directly
with the Federal government without an
Many of the city's grant programs are
administered by state agencies. Although
the Federal agency requirements may be
simpler, the state agency requirements are
frequently more cumbersome. In addition,
New York frequently designates the
county as the grantee making it necessary
for the city to apply to the county for Federal
funds and adding still another layer
of government and thereby duplicating
administrative costs. -City manager,
Much of the problem exists between the
state and local governments. Often the
locals will learn of a Federal program, but
the state fails to react until the time limit is
nearly expired. I've found this true in
many states. Federal-local or Federalmetropolitan
programs are more efficient.
City manager, Ohio.
(6) The role of Congress. Some of the problems
complained about by the local officials are traceable
at least in part to Congress. These include a
number of those which focused mainly on administration,
identified under group (1) above.
Others include the following:
... the on-again, off-again funding of
the programs (for example, the 312 local
programs)5 and the ruinous effect of the
Uniform Relocation Act have made the
categorical aid programs a disaster in our
There have been instances where regular
Federal grant administration employees
have been given too much authority
to interpret legislative intent and
determine grant eligibility. This is particularly
true of the Economic Development
Administration. Another problem is
the arbitrary figure of 50,000 population
which is used as the minimum for eligibility
for certain formula grants. Such grants
should be distributed to all cities requesting
funding, on a formula basis, as is revenue
sharing, or to none at all. -City
It is noted that in FY 75, 17 percent of
the Federal revenue was allocated in the
form of grants to states and localities approximately
$52 billion. This has
caused a psychology to develop in which
local officials measure and pride themselves
on the amount of money they are
able to wheedle out of the Federal government.
This is not a healthy trend for
the nation. It is suggested that before this
trend becomes stronger, that serious consideration
be given to more grants of the
formula type. -County administrator,
The crime of the system is the amount of
dollars in research type programs when
operational ones are going dry.
On the whole, Federal grants-in-aid appear
to be geared toward specialized interests
and program development
whereas the major concern of many
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United States. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. The intergovernmental grant system as seen by local, State, and Federal officials :, book, March 1977; Washington, D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1368/m1/60/: accessed April 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.