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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Community Adjustment and Investment Program (CAIP), focusing on: (1) how the program has been structured; (2) how program eligibility criteria and outreach efforts have been implemented; and (3) the results of efforts to provide assistance to eligible counties.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury In order to improve the management and administration of the Community Adjustment and Investment Program, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Chair of CAIP's Finance Committee to consider delegating additional decision-making authority from the Finance Committee to program staff for loans and grants.
Closed - Implemented
In September 2000, GAO recommended that the Secretary of the Treasury direct the Chair of CAIP's Finance Committee to consider delegating additional decision-making authority from the Finance Committee to program staff for loans and grants. In response, the Treasury has taken steps, that taken together, comprise a substantial additional delegation of decision-making authority to program staff. Treasury has hired a national program director who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the program, as well as an attorney who spends 40 percent of his time on CAIP issues. They have created two additional functional subcommittees, the Eligible Area Subcommittee and the Funding Subcommittee for the CAIP credit component, comprised of program staff from the participating agencies. They have increased the procedural authority of two existing subcommittees, the Loan Subcommittee and the Funding Subcommittee for the CAIP grant component. These subcommittees together cover the spectrum of CAIP activities.
Department of the Treasury In order to improve the management and administration of the Community Adjustment and Investment Program, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Chair of CAIP's Finance Committee to establish procedures to ensure that the data used in determining eligibility for program assistance are complete and accurate.
Closed - Implemented
In September 2000, GAO recommended that the Secretary of the Treasury direct the Chair of CAIP's Finance Committee to establish procedures to ensure that the data used in determining eligibility for program assistance are complete and accurate. In response, Treasury has taken steps to add data on workers in secondary firms affected by NAFTA to the eligibility database. They have also created an Eligible Area Subcommittee to oversee the eligibility process and to consider requests for eligibility from counties that feel they may be undercounted in the NAFTA-TAA database.
Department of the Treasury In order to improve the management and administration of the Community Adjustment and Investment Program, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Chair of CAIP's Finance Committee to improve notification of eligible counties by directly informing them when they are found to be eligible for the program.
Closed - Implemented
In September 2000, we recommended that the Secretary of the Treasury direct the Chair of CAIP's Finance Committee to improve notification of eligible counties by directly informing them when they are found to be eligible for the program. In response, Treasury has taken steps to require that a Notice of Eligibility be sent directly to local officials in each newly-designated county. In addition, a Notice of Renewal is also sent directly to local officials when the county's eligibility has been extended. This action supplements its existing notification of the Members of Congress representing the county, and SBA and USDA's internal notification of their state offices about the eligibility of counties in the state.
Department of the Treasury In order to improve the management and administration of the Community Adjustment and Investment Program, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the Chair of CAIP's Finance Committee to establish outcome measures and a monitoring system to track the degree to which the program has actually assisted distressed counties.
Closed - Implemented
In September 2000, GAO recommended that the Secretary of the Treasury direct the Chair of CAIP's Finance Committee to establish outcome measures and a monitoring system to track the degree to which the program has actually assisted distressed communities. In response, Treasury has taken steps to set up a system to monitor the number of jobs created and/or preserved by the borrowers of its loans and loan guarantees. Borrowers are surveyed approximately two years after their loan or loan guarantee is approved, which is the time period indicated in the CAIP Guidelines for creating/preserving jobs. CAIP had its first survey findings in September 2002, and is continuing to try to improve the system. For grant recipients, CAIP grant agreements have specific annual goals for the number of jobs to be created or preserved by the project. Grantees report quarterly and in a final report on progress in meeting the annual goals.

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