Proposed Transfer of the Senior Community Service Employment Program to HHS

Published: Mar 13, 1984. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 1984.

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Testimony was presented concerning the results of a GAO survey on the proposed transfer of the Senior Community Service Employment Program from the Department of Labor to the Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). GAO found nothing to indicate that any serious problems exist with current program operations or that the program would operate more effectively if moved. The administration proposed legislation which would transfer the program from Labor by establishing a program of State grants for employment opportunities administered by the Administration on Aging. The rationale for this transfer was that the program's primary emphasis was on income maintenance and community services rather than on employment and training. Further, the program was considered similar to other programs administered by HHS and, therefore, its transfer would enhance the Government's ability to administer the program and coordinate it with other programs. This proposal was modified in the President's fiscal year 1985 budget submission by proposing that the State grants portion of the program be administered by HHS while the national sponsors portion of the program would continue to be administered by Labor. GAO found that the program is presently meeting its goals and has been operating at maximum capacity. Since the Administration on Aging is not employment oriented, GAO questioned the emphasis the agency would give to transitioning older workers into unsubsidized positions. Furthermore, the agency has not developed an implementation plan nor determined the cost of administration. Finally, the effect of having two agencies administer the program is uncertain.

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