Federal Executive Boards Contribute to Improved Field Management but Future Is Uncertain

GGD-84-31: Published: Mar 6, 1984. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the role of the Federal Executive Boards in coordinating Federal agencies' activities and reducing duplication in the field.

The Boards are located in 26 U.S. cities which have a large Federal presence. Federal officials believe that, although the Boards' efforts cannot always be quantified, they function to: (1) improve communications, (2) reduce duplication through resource sharing, (3) provide greater training opportunities for Government workers, (4) improve community and intergovernmental relations, and (5) carry out projects which otherwise might not be accomplished. GAO found that funding problems for critical staff support positions and the lack of central guidance and support make the future of the Boards uncertain. Because of budget reductions, Federal agencies which have voluntarily funded these positions in the past have withdrawn their funding. GAO noted that, because the Boards have received little support since 1980, there has been a decline in Board activities and participation by Board members. Oversight responsibility was shifted from the Office of Management and Budget to the Office of Personal Management in 1982. GAO noted that Board representatives believe that the Boards could again function effectively if the present administration reaffirmed its commitment to the concepts that the Boards support.

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