Information on Funding Commitments From Comprehensive Employment and Training Act Titles III and IV During Fiscal Year 1981

HRD-81-145: Published: Aug 31, 1981. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 1981.

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GAO was requested to answer questions pertaining to grants and contracts awarded by the Department of Labor from September 1, 1980, to late January 1981, using the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) titles III and IV discretionary funds.

According to Labor officials, in January 1981, Labor's projected funding commitments for both titles exceeded the funds available for the fiscal year. However, officials said that Labor had not incurred obligations in excess of its fiscal year 1981 budget authority for these titles. Data on the awards reviewed showed that prudent grant/contract procedures were not always followed during the award process. During the review of the award files, GAO found: (1) few formal records of negotiations relating to the awards process; (2) a lack of comprehensive evaluations of awardees' past performance before award renewal; and (3) little evidence of site monitoring visits. In making and renewing awards, Labor's Office of National Programs (ONP) relied heavily on sole-source awards for special projects without demonstrating the need to use such awards to obtain employment and training services. Furthermore, the lack of justification in the files for specific sole-source actions made it impossible to determine the bases for many of these decisions. ONP limited competition in other cases when it decided to make sole-source awards based on its administrative definition of demonstrated effectiveness, and this did not always seem justified. ONP continued to fund awardees that performed poorly. In addition, most of the ONP awards were renewals of previous awards to the same organizations. However, formal assessments of the awardees' performance, which would contribute to more informed refunding decisions, were rarely made.

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