Labor Needs To Better Manage Migrant Grants in Virginia and Improve the Process for Selecting Grantees

HRD-81-66: Published: Jul 1, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 1981.

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The Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Association, Inc. operates employment and training programs to help migrant and other seasonal farmworkers become self-sufficient. GAO reported on the Association's 1979 performance in Virginia and the Department of Labor's selection process for 1980 awards to grantees for services to migrant and other seasonal farmworkers.

Based on reported data, the Association met or exceeded 42 percent of 36 program goals included in its grant agreement for employment, training, and such supportive services as medical assistance and child care. Achievement rates for the other 21 goals ranged from 12 to 68 percent below the established goals. The Association met 7 of 17 performance standards in these areas. Achievement rates for the 10 standards not met ranged from 8 to 65 percent below standards. These data, however, were reported in a manner which made it difficult to evaluate the adequacy of the Association's overall performance. Labor did not enforce compliance with performance standards and provided little monitoring of the Association's activities. It has not applied existing performance standards to migrant grantees because of reservations about the reasonableness of the standards. The failure to require compliance with the standards was not unique to the Virginia grantee, but pertained to migrant grantees nationwide. The Labor representative was unable to tell GAO how effective the Association's program was in Virginia. Despite the mixed performance results and the limitations on program assessment, Labor officials and an accounting firm which has audited many migrant grantees nationwide told GAO that the Association is one of the better program performers. Shortcomings in the process Labor used to select the fiscal year 1980 grantee for Virginia could have limited Labor's ability to select the organization most qualified to deliver program services.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should consider this report's findings, along with the efforts of the study group when its work is complete, and make necessary changes in the grantee selection process.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  2. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should require that performance evaluation information in the form of quarterly status reports, field assessments, and audit findings be made available to selection panels for consideration in evaluating applicants' proposals for providing services under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act's migrant and seasonal farmworkers program.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  3. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should increase the monitoring of the Association's performance during the grant year.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  4. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should ensure that data being reported are adequate to assess the Association's performance against established goals and standards.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  5. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should establish standards which can be used by Labor and the Association for adequately measuring performance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  6. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should resolve the certified public accounting firm's findings regarding questionable Association activities before making any additional awards to the Association.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

 

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