Administration on Aging:

Harmonizing Growing Demands and Shrinking Resources

PEMD-92-7: Published: Feb 12, 1992. Publicly Released: Feb 12, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information that it had previously presented in a testimony on the Administration on Aging's (AOA) programs and services, focusing on: (1) the match between its missions and resources; (2) how AOA provides technical assistance and oversight to state units on aging; and (3) whether AOA technical assistance meets the needs of state units on aging.

GAO found that: (1) as mandated by the Older Americans Act, AOA helps meet the special needs of the elderly by providing them with a wide array of social and nutritional services; (2) the U.S. elderly population has increased by nearly 65 percent since the act's passage in 1965, making the provision of such services increasingly important; (3) to serve the rapidly growing elderly population, AOA has been expanded to provide more programs and services, engage in more extensive federal coordination, and conduct more program evaluation; (4) due to a significant decline in inflation-adjusted program funds, staffing, and travel funds, new programs and mandates are unfunded, key leadership positions are vacant, and AOA monitoring capabilities are in question; (5) staffing and travel constraints hinder AOA ability to provide technical assistance to state agencies on aging; (6) state officials identified such unmet technical assistance needs as targeting, data collection, and outreach initiatives to low-income and minority elders; and (7) AOA established 10 regional offices within the Department of Health and Human Services' regional office network to provide technical assistance to state agencies.