Block Grants:

Issues in Designing Accountability Provisions

AIMD-95-226: Published: Sep 1, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 1, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the issues involved in designing accountability provisions for block grants.

GAO found that: (1) building accountability into the newly proposed block grant approach is an important and difficult task, requiring trade-offs between federal and state control over program finances, activities, and administration; (2) well designed accountability provisions will help clarify the financial and programmatic relationship between the federal government and the states and is important in sustaining the maturity of the block grant approach; (3) the financial accountability provisions implemented through single audits provide a foundation for ensuring that states apply the appropriate financial management and internal controls; (4) developing and implementing guidelines for comparable data will not be easy under the results-oriented approach that states use in achieving their program objectives; and (5) it is important for federal policymakers to be aware of existing state spending and programmatic commitments in block-granted areas.

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