Observations Concerning the Local Public Works Program

CED-77-48: Published: Feb 23, 1977. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 1977.

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A review of some aspects of local public works programs was performed in response to concerns related to allocation of funds and selection of projects.

Some provisions of the Public Works Employment Act of 1976 have resulted in funding that was not directed at areas with the severest unemployment problems. These include the requirement that 30 percent of funds be used in areas with unemployment at or below national rates, and the provision that permits applicants to include unemployment data of adjoining communities. Other practices causing inequitable allocation were the use of logarithms in computing the number of unemployed workers, and the use of different bases for data on Indian tribes. Provisions for reporting data for three most recent consecutive months, not seasonally adjusted, have resulted in unrepresentative data. Proposals have been made by the Administration to delete or amend some of these provisions. The Economic Development Administration is planning to simplify regulations and change the project selection formula.

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