Local Coordination Prevents Duplication of Services at Federally Sponsored Indian Education Projects

HRD-81-101: Published: Jun 15, 1981. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 1981.

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GAO was asked to examine the Indian education programs authorized by the Indian Education Act and those authorized by the Johnson-O'Malley Act to determine the extent of duplication and make recommendations for possible consolidation of the programs or better coordination between them. The Indian Education Act program is administered by the Department of Education, and the Johnson-O'Malley Program is administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. GAO analyzed the implementation of Indian education projects at 30 sites receiving funds from both programs.

Coordination between officials at most project sites visited resulted in little duplication of services. GAO noted that: some sites did not coordinate the two programs and there was some duplication, or potential for duplication, of services; both programs provided students with parental cost items, such as school supplies and shoes; and some of the project administrators were not aware of the other project's activities. GAO analyzed the impact of merging the two programs and the impact of eliminating one on: the use of program funds, program eligibility requirements, and program administration. Merging the programs or eliminating either of them should not greatly affect the types of services for which the funds are available as both programs' goals and objectives are similar. If the Indian Education Act program were eliminated, most urban and nonfederally recognized Indian students would no longer be eligible for services, and eligible urban students would have difficulty getting services unless they lived near a reservation. If the Johnson-O'Malley Program were eliminated, the resources available for students on or near reservations could be diminished. A merger or the elimination of one program would affect local project control and Federal program jurisdiction, but would not significantly affect the parent or education committees.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: GAO has no information on the actions taken in response to this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Education and the Interior should establish policies and procedures to require project sites that receive funds from both programs to coordinate their project activities to minimize duplication of services.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  2. Status: Closed

    Comments: GAO has no information on the actions taken in response to this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Education and the Interior should establish policies and procedures to require project sites that receive funds from both programs to coordinate their project activities to minimize duplication of services.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

 

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