Head Start:

Information on Federal Funds Unspent by Program Grantees

HEHS-96-64: Published: Dec 29, 1995. Publicly Released: Dec 29, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the: (1) amount of Head Start funding unspent by program grantees at the end of budget years 1992 to 1994 and the reasons for these unspent funds; (2) proportion of carryover funds that were added to grantee awards and that are 1 or more budget years old; and (3) grantees' intended use of carryover funds.

GAO found that: (1) about two-thirds of the grantees reviewed had unspent balances of $69,000 to $177,000 during budget years 1992 through 1994; (2) most of the unspent balances resulted from small differences between grantees' budget estimates and actual expenditures, problems related to building Head Start centers, and grantees' inability to spend their awards because of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) disbursement problems; (3) one-half of all the carryover funds in budget year 1993 and about three-fourths of the carryover funds in budget year 1994 were added to grantee awards in subsequent budget years; (4) about one-half and one-fourth of carryover funds in grantee budget years 1993 and 1994 offset grantee awards; (5) Head Start offset 70 to 90 percent of its grantee awards with carryover funds within 2 budget years of an unspent balance; and (6) carryover funds added to grantee awards were used to expand Head Start enrollments, build new facilities, purchase capital equipment and train staff.

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