Poor Management Has Reduced the Effectiveness of Tulsa Human Services Agency Programs

HRD-80-62: Published: May 20, 1980. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 1980.

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Pursuant to a Congressman's request, GAO reviewed the administration of the Tulsa Human Services Agency, the community action agency for Tulsa County, Oklahoma. The Tulsa Agency is a nonprofit community action agency which was established to help eliminate poverty in Tulsa County. The Agency operates several antipoverty programs which are more than 95 percent federally funded. Several Federal, State, and local organizations are responsible for funding the programs and monitoring their implementation. The weatherization program was funded in 1978 and 1979 by the Community Services Administration (CSA) and the Department of Energy.

Because of poor management, some of the Tulsa Agency programs, especially the energy assistance and weatherization programs, have not been as effective as they might have been. Major problems existed in planning, organization, implementation, monitoring and followup, and asset control. Corrective actions taken and planned, particularly in the areas of training, procedures development, and staffing, should help improve the effectiveness of the Tulsa Agency's programs. However, more needs to be done to improve management of these programs.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Director of CSA should require that the Tulsa Agency board of directors assure that policies and procedures are developed and implemented for: (1) making comprehensive needs assessments of Tulsa County's low-income residents using 1980 census data as soon as possible; (2) clearly defining lines of authority and related responsibilities; (3) appointing program directors promptly; (4) providing necessary training for board members and program directors to improve Agency operations; (5) providing necessary guidance, training, and supervision for its staff; (6) making periodic wage comparability studies so it will know what salary levels need to be paid Agency staff to be competitive with other employers in the area; (7) seeking cooperation of local organizations that provide services to the poor and elderly; (8) managing its administrative, contracting, and program functions; and (9) improving its monitoring and followup of complaints to the Agency and audit report findings. CSA should expedite its development of training for community action agency board members, directors, and staff and should closely monitor the Tulsa Agency activities to help assure that Agency management continues to improve. The Secretary of Energy should assure continued close monitoring of the Tulsa Agency's weatherization program by the Oklahoma Department of Economic and Community Affairs so that Tulsa County's low-income residents are served efficiently, effectively, and fairly. Such monitoring should consider the adequacy of: training, guidance, and supervision of program employees and Comprehensive Employment and Training Act workers; control of program supplies; and allocation of program resources.

    Agency Affected:

 

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