Employment Programs in Buffalo and Erie County Under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act Can Be Improved

HRD-77-24: Published: Feb 18, 1977. Publicly Released: Feb 18, 1977.

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During a 2-year period, about $40.8 million was provided to the city of Buffalo and Erie County for unemployment programs, which need several improvements.

A random sample of people being paid unemployment money indicated that an average of 11 percent for the two areas concerned were ineligible and were being paid because of interviewer error. Prime sponsor officials screened applications and made a conscious effort to hire persons specified in the act for special consideration. However, neither area had formal procedures to make sure that these groups did receive special consideration. Investigation of nepotism practices resulted in the dismissal of several participants from the programs. Neither prime sponsor required applicants to furnish information on relatives working for local governments. Financial reporting records for the programs were not accurate. Buffalo's records did not provide information needed to determine if the funds budgeted for costs other than wages and employment benefits were reasonable, nor was the money used as required in some cases. Detailed accounting information was not provided by either prime sponsor about the number of participants in retirement plans. Title II and VI jobs, generally public service jobs, were filled above the expected levels, but moving participants into nonsubsidized positions was not successful.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The data collected on potential recipients should be screened more carefully to ensure proper use of funds, and corrective action against existing ineligible participants should be taken. Prime sponsors should obtain data identifying preference category applicants and adopt formal procedures to ensure priority consideration to preference groups. Enough information should be gathered to combat nepotism. Department of Labor overseers should require the prime sponsor to be more accurate in all phases of accounting and record keeping and the regional Labor offices should more carefully review prime sponsors' planned and actual expenditures shown in grant applications.

    Agency Affected:

 

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