Information on the Senior Community Service Employment Program and the Proposed Transfer to HHS

HRD-84-42: Published: Mar 12, 1984. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO conducted a study of an administration proposal to transfer the administrative responsibility for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) from the Department of Labor to the Administration on Aging (AOA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

SCSEP was established to offer part-time employment opportunities in a variety of community service activities to unemployed low-income persons age 55 or older. Legislative changes to the program have been proposed, including the transfer of SCSEP administrative responsibilities to HHS, because the administration considers the program's primary emphasis to be on income maintenance and community services rather than on employment and training and believes that the program's transfer would enhance the Government's ability to administer SCSEP with other similar programs. This proposal was later modified so that only the State grant portion of the program would be moved to AOA. GAO was unable to determine how well the program is currently operating and whether it should be moved. However, SCSEP is successfully meeting goals which it established for participant eligibility, administrative and matching cost, transitioning enrollees to private sector jobs, and full use of enrollee positions. GAO found nothing that would indicate that SCSEP would operate more effectively or that coordination would increase if the program were moved to AOA.

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