Department of Commerce's Trade Adjustment Assistance Program

NSIAD-83-42: Published: Aug 15, 1983. Publicly Released: Aug 22, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO investigated whether: (1) delays in the delivery of technical assistance to a leather goods company were exclusively attributable to the administrators of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program; and (2) there was justification for requiring the firm's recertification when the firm wanted to extend its eligibility period past a 2-year limit.

GAO concluded that the firm did not receive technical assistance in an effective and efficient manner because of delays created by all parties. In addition, an update of its economic status appeared necessary because: (1) 36 months elapsed between the firm's certification and its inquiry about the requirements for obtaining further technical assistance; and (2) the latest request was for technical assistance, which differed from the original, approved adjustment plan. Therefore, recertification appeared to be an appropriate course of action. In addition, GAO found that the guidelines were not clear regarding the maximum length of time that a firm may remain eligible.

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