The Administration on Aging

Harmonizing Growing Demands and Shrinking Resources Gao ID: T-PEMD-91-9 June 12, 1991

GAO discussed 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 met the needs of state units on aging. GAO noted that: (1) the AOA mission has grown without a commensurate growth in resources; (2) appropriations for AOA programs and services increased, but failed to keep up with the rate of inflation; (3) AOA experienced a significant decline in such administrative resources as personnel and travel funds, resulting in decreased AOA involvement with state units and area agencies on aging; (4) AOA adopted policies to target services to those in greatest socioeconomic need, but conducted limited systematic evaluation research of those policies and strategies; (5) AOA established 10 regional offices within the Department of Health and Human Services' regional office network to provide technical assistance needs to state agencies; (6) state officials identified such unmet technical assistance needs as targeting, data collection, and outreach initiatives to low-income and minority elders; (7) lack of funds hindered the provision of technical assistance; and (8) due to staff shortages and lack of travel funds, AOA failed to conduct necessary oversight of state units on aging.

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