National Service Programs:

Status of AmeriCorps Reform Efforts

HEHS-97-198R: Published: Sep 3, 1997. Publicly Released: Oct 3, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Corporation for National and Community Service's efforts to reform the AmeriCorps USA Program, focusing on: (1) how AmeriCorps funding changed per-participant from the initial program year to the third program year; (2) whether private contributions to AmeriCorps increased on a per-participant basis from program year 1 to program year 3; (3) the status of subgrantees of former federal agency grantees; and (4) the status of Corporation efforts to increase the number of projects that provide only education awards to participants under the Education Awards Program.

GAO noted that: (1) GAO's analysis shows that the Corporation has made progress in taking some of the cost reduction reform steps but lacks data systems to track whether all these reforms have been made; (2) Corporation grant funds per participant have decreased by about 6 percent; (3) matching funds have increased in total, but the Corporation is unable to document whether private contributions have increased; (4) no federal agencies, at either the national or field-office level, are AmeriCorps grantees in program year 3; (5) however, many of the subgrantee projects of former federal agency grantees, as allowed by law, continue to operate as AmeriCorps projects, having applied for and received Corporation funds either directly from the Corporation or through state commissions; and (6) in addition, the Education Awards Program is operational; 49 new projects have been funded for a total of 6,400 participants so far in program year 3.

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