Review of the Allegation that the Economic Development Administration Announced Funding Planning Targets for the Local Public Works Program Knowing that Many Targets Were in Error
CED-77-129, Aug 31, 1977
In distributing additional moneys made available for the local public works program, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) allocated funds to the states and established funding planning targets for substate areas based primarily on the numbers of the unemployed and unemployment rates. Because of errors made in the planning targets announced on June 9, 1977, necessitating changes, revised planning targets were announced on July 15, 1977. It was alleged that EDA announced the planning targets for substate areas knowing that many were in error.
If the allegation were true, this would mean that many communities whose planning targets were either substantially reduced or eliminated when the errors were corrected incurred unnecessary architect and engineering costs in complying with the EDA requirement that applicants submit project plans within 28 days after they were formally notified of their planning targets. The officials said that they took what precautions they could to minimize the errors and that data in the computer on project location and type of governmental unit had been verified back to the applications for funding. To verify the data by contacting the applicants directly was considered impractical because of the time it would take for the 23,000 project applications involved. It appears that most of the errors involved project location. Of about 3,000 planning targets announced on June 9, 1977, 354 were subsequently reduced by 25 percent or more.