Status of Office of Revenue Sharing's Implementation of Recommendations Related to Nondiscrimination Issues Contained in a 1980 GAO Report

HRD-85-45: Published: Mar 1, 1985. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reported on actions taken by the Department of the Treasury's Office of Revenue Sharing (ORS) in response to recommendations GAO made in 1980 concerning the administration and enforcement of the nondiscrimination provisions of the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Amendments of 1976.

GAO found that ORS has taken several steps to improve its compliance tracking system in response to a GAO recommendation including: (1) adding more data elements; (2) updating old cases with new data elements; (3) modifying the tracking system to give supervisors additional reports; and (4) modifying the tracking system to identify cases with compliance agreements and reporting date compliance. GAO found that the ORS complaint processing backlog continues to be high, and the median time for complaint processing is about 10 times as long as the statutory requirement. GAO found that ORS is now using a single-document compliance agreement in response to a recommendation; however, due to staff shortages, it has decreased the number of compliance monitors for each branch. GAO found that ORS has failed to explore suggested improvements, such as self-initiated reviews, because of limited resources. Although GAO recommended that ORS actively seek to establish more cooperative agreements with state civil rights agencies and other federal agencies, GAO found that none of the 14 state agreements which existed in 1980 are now in effect. However, ORS is conducting a pilot project to determine whether referring complaints to the states for investigations will be more cost effective. In addition, none of the five federal agreements which existed in 1980 are still in effect, and no agreements with other federal agencies have been signed. Finally, although staff shortages exist, hiring authority requests have been denied.

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