Access to McKinney Act Programs Improved but Better Oversight Needed Gao ID: RCED-91-29 December 28, 1990

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed federal agencies' administration of 14 programs established by the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, focusing on: (1) actions to eliminate or reduce barriers to obtain and use program funds; (2) program oversight; and (3) program expenditures.

GAO found that: (1) the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Labor (DOL) eased such barriers as requiring matching funds, environmental reviews, and time limits for program expenditures, to help assistance providers in obtaining and using funds; (2) HUD and Education failed to adequately monitor their programs; (3) the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Education, DOL, and HUD had efforts underway to improve monitoring and to evaluate programs, while HHS continued to rely on states to monitor and evaluate two of its block grant programs; (4) the five agencies were evaluating the effectiveness of most of their programs, although the lack of consistent data on program operations made evaluations difficult; (5) the agencies expressed concern that assistance providers did not timely spend funds, since several recipients had not spent significant portions of their grants; (6) reasons for nonexpenditure included time needed to award contracts for major building renovations, the uncertainty of federal funding, and community resistance; and (7) HUD, HHS, and Education modified program regulations, issued guidance, and proposed legislative changes to ensure the timely expenditure of program funds.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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