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Digitization of Government Information

Description: Report submitted by an American Libraries Association (ALA) Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) ad hoc committee charged to "create a report advising GODORT on the best practices and procedures in the digital library field and advise GODORT on the most effective organizational structure for support of the government information community in pursuing digital library initiatives" (p. 2).
Date: June 14, 2002
Creator: American Library Association. Government Documents Round Table. Ad Hoc Committee on Digitization Of Government Information.
Partner: UNT Libraries
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Medicare Home Health Care: Payments to Home Health Agencies Are Considerably Higher than Costs

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 significantly changed Medicare's home health care payments to home health agencies (HHAs). Under a prospective payment system (PPS), HHAs are paid a fixed amount, adjusted for beneficiary care needs, for providing up to 60 days of care---termed a "home health episode." The act also imposed new interim payment limits to moderate spending until the PPS could be implemented. Although PPS was designed to lower Medicare spending below what it was under the interim system, GAO found that Medicare's payments for full home health care episodes were 35 percent higher than estimated in the first six months of 2001. These disparities indicate that Medicare's PPS overpays for services actually provided, although some HHAs facing extraordinary costs not accounted for by the payment system may be financially disadvantaged."
Date: May 6, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Financial Audit: Capitol Preservation Fund's Fiscal Years 2001 and 2000 Financial Statements

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "GAO audited the financial statements of the Capitol Preservation Fund for fiscal years 2001 and 2000. GAO found that the financial statements (1) were presented fairly in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, (2) contained no material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting and compliance with laws and regulations, and (3) complied with the provisions of laws and regulations tested."
Date: May 17, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Personnel Practices: Career and Other Appointments of Former Political Appointees, October 1998-April 2001

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Political appointees in the federal government sometimes seek appointments to career positions, which do not end with an administration. Although merit system principles require that selections be determined solely on the basis of merit after fair and open competition, questions have been raised about whether some individuals have received political favoritism or an unfair advantage, even the appearance of which could adversely compromise the integrity of the system. The 45 agencies GAO surveyed reported that 100 employees converted from political appointments and 11 converted from congressional staff positions from October 1998 through April 2001. All the conversions took place at 21 agencies. Ninety-five of the 111 conversions were to positions at the GS-12 level and above. GAO found that the 21 agencies used appropriate appointment authorities, such as civil service certificates from the competitive selection process, and generally followed merit system procedures. In 17 instances, however, the appointments could give the appearance that individuals had received political favoritism or preferences."
Date: February 26, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Private Pensions: Participants Need Information on the Risks of Investing in Employer Securities and the Benefits of Diversification

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The financial collapse of large firms and the effects on workers and retirees has raised questions about retirement funds being invested in employer securities and the laws governing such investments. Pensions are important source of income of many retirees, and the federal government has encouraged employers to sponsor and maintain pension and savings plans for their employees. The continued growth in these plans and their vulnerabilities has caused Congress to focus on issues related to participants investing in employer securities through employer-sponsored retirement plans. GAO's analysis of the 1998 plan data for the Fortune 1,000 firms showed that 550 of those companies held employer securities in their defined benefit plans or defined contribution plans, covering 13 million participants. Investment in employer securities through employer-sponsored retirement plans can present significant risks for employees. If the employees' retirement savings is largely in employer securities in these plans, employees risk losing not only their jobs should the company go out of business, but also a significant portion of their savings. Even if employers do not declare bankruptcy, employees are still subject to the dual risk of loss of job and loss of retirement savings because corporate losses and stock price declines can result in companies significantly reducing their operations. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Securities Acts, the Department of Labor and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are responsible for ensuring that certain disclosures are made to plan participants regarding their investments. Although employees in plans where they control their investments receive disclosures under the act regarding their investments, such regulations do not require companies to disclose the importance of diversification or warn employees about the potential risks of owning employer securities. SEC requires companies with …
Date: September 6, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Veterans Benefits Administration: Clarity of Letters to Claimants Needs to Be Improved

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) provided $23 billion in monthly cash benefits to 3.2 million disabled veterans and their families through its compensation and pension program in fiscal year 2001. In the same year, VBA mailed 1.2 million "notification" letters to veterans and their families, informing them of VBA's decisions on compensation or pension benefits claims filed. VBA also sent 1.2 million "development" letters in fiscal year 2001 requesting information in order to make a decision on claims. VBA found in 1995 that its notification and development letters failed to communicate adequately, and launched an initiative, called Reader-Focused Writing, to improve its written communications. In its letters, VBA clearly explained some, but not all, of the key aspects that claimants needed to understand. Beyond the lack of clarity in these letters, various writing deficiencies, such as sequencing and formatting problems, reduced the value of VBA's letters. First, in many of its rating decision documents and development letters, VBA attempts to achieve more than one objective and, in doing so, compromises clarity for the reader. Second, although VBA's central office and some regional offices have developed boilerplate paragraphs for letters and their attachments to increase consistency and quality, some contain writing deficiencies. Third, some letters contain editorial mistakes and boilerplate language not adapted to the claimant's specific situation. Finally, VBA does not systematically evaluate the clarity of its letters, identify writing deficiencies, and provide timely feedback to help correct problems. As a result, VBA lacks an organized process for continuously improving the clarity of its letters."
Date: April 23, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Export Controls: Processes for Determining Proper Control of Defense-Related Items Needs Improvement

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. government controls the export of defense-related items to minimize the risk such exports may pose to its interests. The U.S. export control system is primarily divided between two regulatory regimes, one managed by the Department of State for defense items and another managed by the Department of Commerce for dual-use items that have both military and commercial applications. Companies are responsible for determining which department to use and what requirements apply when exporting their items, but can obtain government assistance through two different processes. If companies have determined that their items are Commerce-controlled but are uncertain of export licensing requirements, they may request a classification from Commerce through the commodity classification process. Commerce can refer classification requests to State and the Department of Defense to confirm that the items are Commerce-controlled. However, if companies are unsure of which department has jurisdiction over their items, they can request a determination through the commodity jurisdiction process from State, which consults with Commerce and Defense. In implementing the commodity classification process, Commerce has improperly classified some State-controlled items as Commerce-controlled and has not adhered to regulatory time frames for responding to requests. Improper classifications have occurred because Commerce rarely obtains input from State and Defense before making decisions. Commerce officials stated that they have sufficient experience to determine which items can be classified as Commerce-controlled without referring requests to State and Defense, which could delay the process. However, in several instances, Commerce improperly provided companies with classifications for State-controlled items, increasing the risk of such items being inappropriately exported. State has not adhered to established time frames when implementing the commodity jurisdiction process and has been unable to issue determinations for some items due to interagency disputes …
Date: September 20, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996: Major Data Sources Inadequate for Implementing the Debtor Bar Provision

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 seeks to maximize collections of delinquent nontax debt owed to the federal government. However, the act also seeks to reduce losses by requiring proper screening of potential borrowers and information sharing within and among federal agencies. The major information sources of data on delinquent federal debtors are credit bureau reports, the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS), and the Financial Management Service's (FMS) Treasury Offset Program's (TOP) database. There is no effective mechanism for federal implementation of the act's debtor bar provision. Although credit bureau reports, CAIVRS, and FMS's TOP database each contain some information on delinquent federal nontax debtors, none provides all-inclusive, timely data or maintains them long enough to serve as an adequate data source for successfully barring future financial assistance to currently delinquent debtors or those who did not meet their past obligations. The TOP database, with modifications, now provides an adequate reference point for identifying delinquent debtors to deny them additional financial assistance. Maximizing the TOP database as a delinquency reporting tool would require several changes, such as improving agencies' delinquent debt referral practices and enhancing or supplementing information in the TOP database."
Date: March 29, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Highlights of a GAO Forum: Mergers and Transformation: Lessons Learned for a Department of Homeland Security and Other Federal Agencies

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The early years of the 21st century are proving to be a period of profound transition for our world, our country, and our government. The federal government needs to engage in a comprehensive review, reassessment, reprioritization, and as appropriate, re-engineering of what the government does, how it does business, and in some cases, who does the government's business. Leading public and private organizations in the United States and abroad have found that for organizations to successfully transform themselves they must often fundamentally change their culture. On September 24, 2001, GAO convened a forum to identify and discuss useful practices and lessons learned from major private and public sector organizational mergers, acquisitions, and transformations that federal agencies could implement to successfully transform their cultures and a new Department of Homeland Security could use to merge its various originating components into a unified department. The invited participants have experience managing or studying large-scale organizational mergers, acquisitions, and transformations."
Date: November 14, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Aviation Finance: Distribution of Airport Grant Funds Complied with Statutory Requirements

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) administers the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which provides billions of dollars in federal grants to airports for planning and development projects. The total funds awarded by FAA was consistent with the total amount of AIP funds available for obligation for fiscal years 1996 through 2000. FAA also made available or awarded AIP grant funds in accordance with the statutory formulas and set-asides contained in the authorization acts for the five fiscal years reviewed. In some cases, FAA awarded more funding than required to some airports and projects when it distributed the remaining AIP discretionary funds, which are not subject to statutory formulas or set-asides. GAO also found that small airports received greater amounts than large airports."
Date: April 30, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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United States Postal Service: Opportunities to Strengthen IT Investment Management Capabilities

Description: A chapter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. Postal Service invests hundreds of millions of dollars in information technology (IT) each year to support its mission of providing prompt, reliable, and efficient mail service to all areas of the country. It must support these operations through the revenues it earns for its services. Growing operating expenses and capital needs in the face of reduced revenues highlight the need for the Postal Service to invest its IT dollars wisely. Accordingly, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and its Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services asked GAO to evaluate how well the Postal Service manages its IT investments."
Date: October 15, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Defense Health Care: Most Reservists Have Civilian Health Coverage but More Assistance Is Needed When TRICARE Is Used

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "To expand the capabilities of the nation's active duty forces, the Department of Defense (DOD) relies on the 1.2 million men and women of the Reserve and National Guard. Currently, reserve components constitute nearly half of the total armed forces. Although DOD requires reservists to use TRICARE DOD's health care system for their own health care, using TRICARE is an option for their dependents. Nearly 80 percent of reservists had health care coverage when they were not on active duty, according to a GAO survey. The most frequently cited sources of coverage were civilian employer health plans and spouses' employer health plans. Few dependents of mobilized reservists experience disruptions in their health coverage--primarily because most maintained civilian health coverage while reservists were mobilized. Ninety percent of the reservists with civilian health coverage maintained that coverage. The 5-year cost of the coverage options delineated in the 2002 National Defense Authorization Act range from $89 million, for expanding the transition benefit allowing mobilizations, to $19.7 billion, for continuous coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office."
Date: September 6, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Defense Inventory: Control Weaknesses Leave Restricted and Hazardous Excess Property Vulnerable to Improper Use, Loss, and Theft

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Defense Department (DOD) encourages the reuse of excess property, including vehicles, weapons, hand tools, lumber, medical equipment, and furniture. DOD components, civilian federal agencies, and "special programs" have equal priority and first rights to excess property. This report discusses excess property issued to three of 12 special programs--the Military Affiliate Radio System, the Civil Air Patrol, and the 12th Congressional Regional Equipment Center. Between 1995 and 2000, these programs obtained $34 million worth of items that they were not eligible to receive. The three programs were able to obtain the items because the DOD facilities that store the property are not required to verify which items the programs are eligible to receive, and because program officials do not consistently follow applicable guidelines. GAO also noted that the programs' lists of property they are allowed to obtain are not comprehensive because the lists exclude mission-related items similar to those already permitted. Furthermore, these programs did not have reliable records for more than three-quarters of their excess property. Together, the three special programs obtained more than 80,000 hazardous supplies. In many cases, program officials were unaware that their programs had received such items. GAO found similar problems in other special programs. This lack of accountability increases the risk of mishandling excess property and the potential for waste, fraud, and abuse."
Date: January 25, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Electronic Warfare: Comprehensive Strategy Still Needed for Suppressing Enemy Air Defenses

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "U.S. military aircraft are often at great risk from enemy air defenses, and the services use specialized aircraft to neutralize or destroy them. In January 2001, GAO reported that a gap existed between the services' suppression capabilities and their needs and recommended that a comprehensive strategy was needed to fix the situation. In response to GAO's report, DOD emphasized that a major study underway at the time would provide the basis for a Department-wide strategy and lead to a balanced set of acquisition programs between the services. This report updates our previous work and assesses actions that DOD has taken to improve its suppression capabilities."
Date: November 25, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Peace Corps: Initiatives for Addressing Safety and Security Challenges Hold Promise, but Progress Should Be Assessed

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "About 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers now serve in 70 countries, often living in areas with limited access to reliable communications, police, or medical services. Moreover, as Americans, they may be viewed as relatively wealthy and hence good targets for criminal activity. The Peace Corps has reported rising numbers of assaults against its volunteers since it began collecting data in 1990. However, the Peace Corps' record is mixed when it comes to developing safe and secure housing and worksites for volunteers, monitoring volunteers and responding to security concerns or criminal incidents, and preparing for emergencies. To reduce risks to its volunteers, the Peace Corps has adopted policies that address monitoring and disseminating information on the security environment; volunteer training; development of safe and secure housing and work sites for volunteers; monitoring volunteers and responding to incidents and concerns; and planning for emergencies, such as evacuations. Volunteer surveys and GAO visits to five overseas ports indicate that volunteers are generally satisfied with agency training programs and other efforts designed to emphasize safety and security awareness. The agency is not certain, but officials have stated that efforts to improve its system for collecting crime data may have led to higher reported rates. In May 2002, the Peace Corps told GAO of several initiatives to improve current safety and security practices. Although these initiatives are directed at many of the obstacles to improved performance, they do not address staff turnover."
Date: July 25, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Military Transformation: Army Actions Needed to Enhance Formation of Future Interim Brigade Combat Teams

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In 1999, the Army announced its plans to transform its forces during the next 30 years to enable them to deploy more rapidly and operate more effectively during all types of military conflicts, from small-scale contingencies to major wars. The Army's goal is to be able to deploy a brigade anywhere in the world within 96 hours, a division within 120 hours, and five divisions within 30 days. The first step is to form and equip six interim brigade combat teams by 2008. Created to fill a gap in military capability, the teams are intended to be a lethal and survivable deterrent force that can be rapidly deployed around the world. The commanders in chief envision different uses for the teams according to the unique requirements of their respective regions. However, they generally agree that the teams should provide them with a broader choice of capabilities to meet their operational needs. The Army faces many challenges in assembling its first team. For example, some planned combat capabilities will not be present when the team is certified for deployment next year. In addition, the interim armored vehicle delivery schedule has compressed the time available for training. Army officials believe that the organization at Fort Lewis that was created to help assemble the brigades has been effective in dealing with day-to-day challenges. The Army is chronicling lessons learned in forming the teams, but this information is not readily available in a central source. As a result, the Army may be unaware of some best practices or may repeat mistakes in forming later teams."
Date: May 17, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Water Infrastructure: Information on Financing, Capital Planning, and Privatization

Description: A chapter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and water utility industry groups, communities will need as much as $1 trillion during the next 20 years to repair, replace, or upgrade aging drinking water and wastewater facilities; accommodate a growing population; and meet new water quality standards. GAO found that the amount of funds obtained from user charges and other local sources of revenue was less than the full cost of providing service--including operation and maintenance, debt service, depreciation, and taxes--for more than a quarter of drinking water utilities and more than 4 out of 10 wastewater utilities in their most recent fiscal year. GAO also found that more than a quarter of utilities lacked plans recommended by utility associations for managing their existing capital assets, but nearly all had plans that identify future capital improvement needs. A privatization agreement's potential to generate profits is the key factor influencing decisions by private companies that enter into such agreements with publicly owned utilities or the governmental entities they serve, according to the companies GAO contacted."
Date: August 16, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Justice Impact Evaluations: One Byrne Evaluation Was Rigorous; All Reviewed Violence Against Women Office Evaluations Were Problematic

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Discretionary grants awarded under the Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA) Byrne Program help state and local governments make communities safe and improve criminal justice. Discretionary grants awarded under BJA's Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) programs are aimed at improving criminal justice system responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) awarded $6 million for five Byrne Program and five VAWO discretionary grant program evaluations between 1995 and 2001. Of the 10 programs evaluated, all five VAWO evaluations were designed to be both process and impact evaluations of the VAWO programs. Only one of the five Byrne evaluations was designed as an impact evaluation and the other four evaluations were process evaluations. GAO's in-depth review of the four impact evaluations since fiscal year 1995 showed that only one of these--the evaluation of the Byrne Children at Risk Program--was methodologically sound. The other three evaluations, all of which examined VAWO programs, had methodological problems."
Date: March 5, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Head Start and Even Start: Greater Collaboration Needed on Measures of Adult Education and Literacy

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Head Start and Even Start Family Literacy programs have sought to improve the educational and economic outcomes for millions of disadvantaged children and their families. Because the two programs seek similar outcomes for similar populations, GAO has pointed out that they need to work together to avoid inefficiencies in program administrative and service delivery. Questions have also arisen about the wisdom of having similar early childhood programs administered by different departments. Head Start's goal is to ensure that young children are ready for school, and program eligibility is tied to specific income guidelines. In contrast, Even Start's goal is to improve family literacy and the educational opportunities of both the parents and their young children. Even Start eligibility is tied to parents' educational attainment. Despite these differences, both programs are required to provide similar services. Both programs have some similar and some identical performance measures and outcome expectations for children, but not for parents. Head Start and Even Start grantees provided some similar services to young children and families, but how these programs served adults reflect the variations in the need of the parents. No recent, definitive information exists on the effectiveness of either program so it is difficult to determine which program uses the more effective model to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children and their parents. At the local level, differences in the needs of participants and the location of neighborhoods served by the two programs may mean some Head Start and Even Start grantees find only limited opportunities to work together. At the national level, the Departments of Health and Human Services and of Education have begun to coordinate their efforts, including the funding of state-level organizations to improve collaboration among groups …
Date: March 29, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Tax Deductions: Further Estimates of Taxpayers Who May Have Overpaid Federal Taxes by Not Itemizing

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "When computing their federal taxes, taxpayers either claim a standard or itemized deduction. In recent years, about 70 percent of taxpayers have claimed the standard deduction. GAO found that on 948,000 tax returns for tax year 1998, taxpayers did not itemize their deductions yet had payments for mortgage interest and points and for state and local income tax that exceeded the standard deductions for their filing status. GAO estimated that these taxpayers are likely to have overpaid their taxes by about $473 million. When charitable contributions, real estate and personal property tax payments are included, the total overpayment could reach $945 million."
Date: March 29, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Foreign Assistance: USAID Relies Heavily on Nongovernmental Organizations, but Better Data Needed to Evaluate Approaches

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "U.S. officials are interested in transferring some government social welfare functions to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). One area is in the delivery of foreign assistance to developing countries and countries transitioning from communism to market-oriented democracy. Many NGOs active in international development have years of experience working overseas and have received millions of dollars in funds from private sources as well as the U.S. government. USAID directed $4 billion of its $7.2 billion assistance funding to NGOs in fiscal year 2000. However, the amount of funding provided by specific types of assistance is unknown, because USAID lacks comprehensive and reliable data. USAID uses various types of contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements to provide assistance through NGOs. This range of funding mechanisms allows USAID flexibility to draw on the strengths and expertise of a large community of experienced NGOs. The different mechanisms have advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, time, selection of potential implementers, and USAID's authority to oversee assistance activities. Compared with USAID, official donors provide more of their funding to foreign governments and private donors and spend more of their funding on unsolicited proposals. USAID emphasizes the use of funding mechanisms that involve greater programmatic and financial controls and competition for funding among NGOs."
Date: April 25, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Child Care: States Have Undertaken A Variety of Quality Improvement Initiatives, but More Evaluations of Effectiveness Are Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The demand for child care has increased dramatically in the past several decades as the number of mothers who work outside the home has grown. Welfare reform has further increased this demand. To support low-income parents moving into the workforce, welfare reform established the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). In fiscal year 2000, states spent $5.3 billion in CCDF funds to subsidize child care for low-income families. Out of concern for the quality of care that the CCDF funds, welfare reform legislation also required states to set aside at least 4 percent of the total grant to improve the quality and availability of child care. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations provide examples of allowable activities, such as providing child care providers with financial incentives for meeting state and local standards, improving the compensation of child care staff, and offering resource and referral services. However, the regulations do not limit states' use of funds to these activities; rather, the fund's block grant structure allows states considerable flexibility in choosing appropriate quality and availability improvements to pursue. Using primarily the four percent quality set-aside, states reported undertaking a variety of child care quality improvement initiatives, such as training caregivers, raising the compensation of caregivers, referring parents to child care providers, and efforts to enhance the safety of child care facilities. Although few states have evaluated the effects of their quality improvement initiatives on children's development, some studies provide useful findings about them. The research on child care quality does not evaluate initiatives as actually implemented by states, but a few studies, using rigorous methods, show that some of the attributes of child care quality that these initiatives address, such as caregiver qualifications, affect children's …
Date: September 6, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Nursing Homes: Public Reporting of Quality Indicators Has Merit, but National Implementation Is Premature

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "GAO was asked to review the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative to publicly report additional information on its "Nursing Home Compare" Web site intended to help consumers choose a nursing home. GAO examined CMS's development of the new nursing home quality indicators and efforts to verify the underlying data used to calculate them. GAO also reviewed the assistance CMS offered the public in interpreting and comparing indicators available in its six-state pilot program, launched in April 2002, and its own evaluation of the pilot. The new indicators are scheduled to be used nationally beginning in November 2002."
Date: October 31, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Community Investment: Information on Selected Facilities That Received Environmental Permits

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Industrial facilities that operate under permits regulating some emissions and discharges have been the subject of complaints from community groups and environmental activists who charge that the facilities expose the surrounding communities to greater environmental risk than the general population. In response, the facilities point out that they contribute to the economic growth of the surrounding communities by employing residents and supporting other community needs, such as schools and infrastructure. In a survey of selected facilities, GAO found that the number of jobs in some decreased over time. According to facility officials, these jobs included unskilled, trade, technical, administrative, and professional positions with salaries ranging from $15,000 to $80,000 per year. Most of the facilities identified other contributions that they had made or planned to make in the local communities. These included volunteer work such as organizing cleanups; infrastructure improvements such as installing a new water drainage system; and financial assistance to schools, universities, community groups, and other organizations. Property values in a community are affected by many factors, including the condition of the land and houses, the proximity of the property to natural or man-made structures--such as the facilities covered by this study--that might be viewed as desirable or undesirable, and economic conditions in the surrounding or adjacent communities. Information on property values was unavailable for most of the communities and facilities studied. In these locations, community groups voiced concerns that the facilities would cause property values to decline. Officials at 6 of the 15 facilities GAO studied said they had used available incentives or subsidies. The incentives varied, depending on the type of facility and its location, but included tax exemptions, a local bond initiative, reductions in regulatory fees, and reduced utility rates."
Date: May 31, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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