oversight

Financial Literacy: Overlap of Programs Suggests There May Be Opportunities for Consolidation

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-07-23.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

             United States Government Accountability Office

GAO          Report to Congressional Committees




July 2012
             FINANCIAL
             LITERACY
             Overlap of Programs
             Suggests There May
             Be Opportunities for
             Consolidation




GAO-12-588
                                              July 2012

                                              FINANCIAL LITERACY
                                              Overlap of Programs Suggests There May Be
                                              Opportunities for Consolidation
Highlights of GAO-12-588, a report to
congressional committees




Why GAO Did This Study                        What GAO Found
Financial literacy—the ability to use         The federal government spent about $68 million on 15 of the 16 financial literacy
knowledge and skills to manage                programs that were comprehensive in scope or scale in fiscal year 2010; cost
financial resources effectively—plays         data were not available for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB),
an important role in helping to ensure        which was created that year. In addition, about $137 million in federal funding in
the financial health and stability of         four other major programs was directed to housing counseling, which can include
individuals and families. Federal             elements of financial education. Since fiscal year 2010, at least four of these
agencies promote financial literacy           programs have been defunded and CFPB has received resources to fund its
through activities including print and        financial literacy activities.
online materials, broadcast media,
individual counseling, and classroom          Federal financial literacy and housing counseling activities are spread across
instruction. In response to a mandate         multiple agencies and programs. GAO has not identified duplication—programs
requiring GAO to identify duplicative         providing the same activities and services to the same beneficiaries—but has
government programs and activities,           found overlap—multiple programs with similar goals and activities—in areas such
this report addresses (1) the cost of         as housing counseling and the financial education of youth. Further, CFPB was
federal financial literacy activities; (2)    charged with some financial education duties that overlap with those of other
the extent of their overlap and               federal agencies, making it essential that their respective roles and
fragmentation; (3) the federal                responsibilities be clearly delineated to ensure efficient use of resources.
government’s coordination of these            Moreover, CFPB’s creation may signal an opportunity for consolidating some
activities; and (4) what is known about
                                              federal financial literacy efforts, which would be consistent with federal goals of
their effectiveness. GAO reviewed
                                              reorganizing and consolidating federal agencies to reduce the number of
agency budget documents, strategic
plans, performance reports, websites,         overlapping government programs.
and other materials, and interviewed          Federal agencies have made progress in recent years in coordinating their
representatives of federal agencies           financial literacy activities and collaborating with nonfederal entities, in large part
and other organizations.                      due to the efforts of the federal multiagency Financial Literacy and Education
What GAO Recommends                           Commission. The commission’s 2011 national strategy includes some useful
                                              elements—such as plans to coordinate interagency communication, improve
GAO recommends that CFPB clearly              strategic partnerships, and promote evaluation. However, it does not recommend
delineate with other agencies                 or provide guidance on the appropriate allocation of federal resources among
respective roles and responsibilities,        programs and agencies, which GAO has found to be desirable in a national
and that the Financial Literacy and           strategy. While the commission’s governance structure presents challenges in
Education Commission identify options         addressing resource issues, without a clear discussion of resource needs and
for consolidating federal financial           where resources should be targeted, policymakers lack information to help direct
literacy efforts and address the              the strategy’s implementation and help ensure efficient use of funds.
allocation of federal resources in its
national strategy. CFPB neither agreed        The wide range of federal financial literacy activities and evaluation methods
nor disagreed with these                      makes it difficult to systematically assess overall effectiveness or compare
recommendations and the Department            results across programs. Among the federal financial literacy programs that we
of the Treasury agreed with the               reviewed, most included some evaluation component. Some measured the effect
recommendations directed to the               on participant behavior and others assessed changes in participant knowledge or
commission.                                   tracked output measures, such as the number of consumers reached. Rigorous
                                              evaluation measuring behavior change is costly and methodologically
                                              challenging and may not be practical for all types of activities. However, CFPB
                                              and other federal entities have new efforts under way that seek to determine the
                                              most effective approaches and programs, which GAO believes to be positive
                                              steps toward helping ensure the best and most efficient use of federal financial
View GAO-12-588. For more information,        literacy resources.
contact Alicia Puente Cackley at (202) 512-
8678 or cackleya@gao.gov.

                                                                                        United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                        1
               Background                                                                     3
               Federal Agencies Spent about $68 Million on Financial Literacy
                 Activities in Fiscal Year 2010                                               4
               Some Federal Financial Literacy Efforts Overlap and May Offer
                 Opportunities for Consolidation                                              9
               Agencies Coordinate Their Efforts, but Opportunities Exist to
                 Better Address the Appropriate Allocation of Resources                     21
               Overall Effectiveness of Federal Financial Literacy Programs Is
                 Difficult to Measure, but Additional Evaluation Efforts Are
                 Under Way                                                                  27
               Conclusions                                                                  37
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                         38
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                           39

Appendix I     Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                           41



Appendix II    Crosswalk between Federal Financial Literacy Programs
               Identified in the RAND Report and Programs Selected for
               Inclusion in this Report                                                     44



Appendix III   Comments from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau                       48



Appendix IV    Comments from the Department of Health and Human Services                    51



Appendix V     Comments from the Department of the Treasury                                 54



Appendix VI    GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                        55




               Page i                             GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Tables
         Table 1: Estimates for Costs of 16 Federal Financial Literacy
                  Activities, Fiscal Year 2010                                                     5
         Table 2: Estimates for Costs of Four Federal Housing Counseling
                  Programs, Fiscal Year 2010                                                       7
         Table 3: Description and Target Audience for Significant Federal
                  Financial Literacy and Housing Counseling Programs and
                  Activities, Fiscal Year 2010                                                     9


Figure
         Figure 1: Crosswalk between Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                  Identified in the RAND Report and Programs Selected for
                  Inclusion in This Report (GAO-12-588)                                            45




         Abbreviations

         CFPB                       Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
         DOD                        Department of Defense
         Dodd-Frank Act             Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and
                                     Consumer Protection Act
         FDIC                       Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
         FTC                        Federal Trade Commission
         HUD                        Department of Housing and Urban
                                     Development
         SEC                        Securities and Exchange Commission
         Treasury                   Department of the Treasury




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         Page ii                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   July 23, 2012

                                   The Honorable Tim Johnson
                                   Chairman
                                   The Honorable Richard C. Shelby
                                   Ranking Member
                                   Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
                                   United States Senate

                                   The Honorable Spencer Bachus
                                   Chairman
                                   The Honorable Barney Frank
                                   Ranking Member
                                   Committee on Financial Services
                                   House of Representatives

                                   Financial literacy plays an important role in helping to ensure the financial
                                   health and stability of individuals and families, and economic and
                                   demographic changes in recent years have further highlighted the need to
                                   empower all Americans to make informed financial decisions. The federal
                                   government has played a key role in addressing financial literacy, and this
                                   role has evolved in recent years, particularly with the creation of the
                                   Financial Literacy and Education Commission in 2003 and the Bureau of
                                   Consumer Financial Protection, commonly referred to as the Consumer
                                   Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in 2010. At the same time, however,
                                   increasing fiscal constraints at government agencies, particularly with
                                   regard to discretionary spending, may limit the resources available for
                                   financial literacy efforts, underscoring the need for the most efficient use
                                   of these resources.

                                   We have issued a series of reports on potential duplication, overlap, and
                                   fragmentation among federal programs, which have included information




                                   Page 1                              GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
about financial literacy programs. 1 This report expands on these themes
and addresses (1) what is known about the cost of federal financial
literacy activities; (2) the extent and consequences of overlap and
fragmentation among federal financial literacy activities; (3) what the
federal government is doing to coordinate its financial literacy activities;
and (4) what is known about the effectiveness of federal financial literacy
activities.

To address the first objective, we collected cost information from
congressional appropriations, agency budget justifications, and other
sources as available. Where costs related to financial literacy were not
discrete or clearly apparent from these documents, we worked with
agency staff to develop cost estimates. To address the other objectives,
we reviewed and analyzed relevant reports and surveys and federal
agency strategic plans, performance and accountability reports, websites,
budget justifications, performance data, and evaluations related to federal
financial literacy efforts. We also interviewed staff of 17 federal agencies
that we had identified in prior work as potentially having significant
involvement in financial literacy, as well as staff of nonprofit organizations.
A more extensive discussion of our scope and methodology appears in
appendix I.

We conducted this performance audit from May 2011 to July 2012 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our audit objectives.



1
 Public Law 111-139 required us to identify and report annually on federal programs,
agencies, offices, and initiatives, either within departments or governmentwide, which
have duplicative goals or activities. Pub. L. No. 111-139, § 21, 124 Stat. 29 (2010), 31
U.S.C. § 712 Note. For recent GAO work on potential duplication, overlap, and
fragmentation among federal financial literacy programs, see GAO, 2012 Annual Report:
Opportunities to Reduce Duplication, Overlap and Fragmentation, Achieve Savings, and
Enhance Revenue, GAO-12-342SP (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 28, 2012), pp. 151-154;
Follow-up on 2011 Report: Status of Actions Taken to Reduce Duplication, Overlap, and
Fragmentation, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue, GAO-12-453SP (Washington,
D.C.: Feb. 28, 2012), pp. 53-54; and Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in
Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue, GAO-11-318SP
(Washington, D.C.: Mar. 1, 2011).




Page 2                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
             Financial literacy, which is sometimes also referred to as financial
Background   capability, has been defined as the ability to use knowledge and skills to
             manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of well-being.
             Financial literacy encompasses financial education—the process whereby
             individuals improve their knowledge and understanding of financial
             products, services, and concepts. However, to make sound financial
             decisions, individuals need to be equipped not only with a basic level of
             financial knowledge, but also with the skills to apply that knowledge to
             financial decision making and behaviors.

             The federal government plays a wide-ranging role in promoting financial
             literacy, and the multiagency Financial Literacy and Education
             Commission, which was created in 2003 by the Fair and Accurate Credit
             Transactions Act of 2003, was charged with, among other things,
             developing a national strategy to promote financial literacy and education,
             coordinating federal efforts, and identifying—and proposing means of
             eliminating—areas of overlap and duplication. 2 The commission is
             currently comprised of 21 federal entities; its Chair is the Secretary of the
             Treasury and its Vice Chair, as established in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street
             Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), is the Director of
             CFPB. 3 A wide variety of other organizations also provide financial
             literacy resources, including nonprofit community-based organizations;
             consumer advocacy organizations; financial services companies; trade
             associations; employers; and local, state, and federal government
             entities. Some financial literacy initiatives are aimed at the general
             population, while others target certain audiences, such as low-income
             individuals, military personnel, high school students, seniors, or
             homeowners. Similarly, some financial literacy initiatives cover a broad
             array of concepts and financial topics, while others target specific topics,
             such as managing credit, investing, purchasing a home, saving for
             retirement, or avoiding fraudulent or abusive practices.

             Efforts to improve financial literacy can take many forms. These can
             include one-on-one counseling; curricula taught in a classroom setting;
             workshops or information sessions; print materials, such as brochures



             2
              Pub. L. No. 108-159, Title V, 117 Stat. 1952, 2003 (2003) (codified at 20 U.S.C. §§ 9701-
             08).
             3
              Pub. L. No. 111-203, Title X, § 1013(d), 124 Stat. 1971, 1956 (2010), 20 U.S.C. §
             9702(d).




             Page 3                                     GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                         and pamphlets; and mass media campaigns that can include
                         advertisements in magazines and newspapers or on television, radio, or
                         billboards. Many entities use the Internet to provide financial education,
                         which can include information and training materials, practical tools such
                         as budget worksheets and loan and retirement calculators, and interactive
                         financial games. Youth-focused financial education programs are
                         generally tied to a school curriculum.


                         In fiscal year 2010, the federal government spent about $68 million on 15
Federal Agencies         of its 16 significant financial literacy programs and about $137 million on 4
Spent about $68          programs providing housing counseling, which can include elements of
                         financial education.
Million on Financial
Literacy Activities in
Fiscal Year 2010
Costs for Financial      We identified 16 significant financial literacy programs or activities within
Literacy Activities      the federal government in fiscal year 2010. 4 As seen in table 1, the
                         estimated cost for 15 of these programs and activities was $68 million. 5
                         This figure does not include estimated costs for CFPB, which was created
                         during fiscal year 2010, or costs related to housing counseling, which is
                         discussed separately.




                         4
                          The program and cost data included in this report reflect fiscal year 2010 because these
                         data were originally collected as part of our most recent effort to report on duplication,
                         fragmentation, and overlap in federal programs (GAO-12-342SP), which used fiscal year
                         2010 as its time frame. We have defined “significant” as those financial literacy and
                         education programs or activities that were relatively comprehensive in scope or scale and
                         included financial literacy as a key objective rather than a tangential goal. Additional
                         information about our criteria for significant programs or activities appears later in this
                         report.
                         5
                          This report updates cost information provided in our February 2012 report,
                         GAO-12-342SP, which did not include cost information for the Office of Personnel
                         Management and the Department of Defense. All costs are for fiscal year 2010, with the
                         exception of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, costs for which are
                         from calendar year 2010.




                         Page 4                                     GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Table 1: Estimates for Costs of 16 Federal Financial Literacy Activities, Fiscal Year 2010

                                                                                      FY 2010 estimate for
                                                                                       portion of program
                                                                                        costs attributed to
                                                                                          financial literacy
Agency                              Program or activity                                           activities              Notes
Board of Governors of the Federal   Division of Consumer and                                         $1,029,885           Estimate of calendar year 2010
Reserve System                      Community Affairs and Office of                                                       costs provided by agency staff
                                    Public Affairs
Consumer Financial Protection       Office of Financial Education and                            Not applicable           Agency had not yet been created
Bureau                              other offices                                                                         at the beginning of FY 2010
Department of Agriculture           Family and Consumer Economics                                      8,433,500          Estimate of FY 2010 costs
                                    programs                                                                              provided by agency staff
Department of Defense               Personal Financial Management                                    38,000,000           Estimate of FY 2010 costs
                                    Program (located within Family                                                        provided by agency staff
                                    Support Centers)
Department of Education             Excellence in Economic Education                                   1,447,000          FY 2010 obligations
                                    Program
                                    Financial Education for College                                    1,700,000          FY 2010 obligations
                                    Access and Success Program
Department of Health and Human      National Education and Resource                                       245,763         FY 2010 obligations
Services                            Center on Women and Retirement
                                    Planning
Department of Labor                 Saving Matters Retirement                                             365,387         Estimate of FY 2010 costs
                                    Savings Education Campaign                                                            provided by agency staff
                                    Wi$eUp                                                                170,000         Estimate of FY 2010 costs
                                                                                                                          provided by agency staff
Department of the Treasury          Office of Financial Education and                                  1,300,000          Estimate of FY 2010 costs
                                    Financial Access (including staff                                                     provided by agency staff
                                    support for the Financial Literacy
                                    and Education Commission, and
                                    other initiatives)
Federal Deposit Insurance           Money Smart Financial Education                                    2,749,594          Estimate of FY 2010 costs
Corporation                         Program                                                                               provided by agency staff
Federal Trade Commission            Division of Consumer and                                              784,904         Estimate of FY 2010 costs
                                    Business Education                                                                    provided by agency staff
Office of the Comptroller of the    Consumer education activities                                         450,000         Estimate of FY 2010 costs
Currency                                                                                                                  provided by agency staff.
Office of Personnel Management      Retirement Readiness NOW                                              200,000         Estimate of FY 2010 costs
                                                                                                                          provided by agency staff
Securities and Exchange             Office of Investor Education and                                   2,000,000          Estimate of FY 2010 costs
Commission                          Advocacy                                                                              provided by agency staff
Social Security Administration      Financial Literacy Research                                        9,221,000          Estimate of FY 2010 costs
                                    Consortium                                                                            provided by agency staff
Total                                                                                              $68,097,033
                                           Source: GAO analysis based on federal budget documents and cost estimates provided by agency staff.




                                           Page 5                                                       GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Two of these federal financial literacy programs or activities were funded
through a congressional appropriation for the specified program. The
Excellence in Economic Education Program was appropriated about
$1.45 million in fiscal year 2010, and the Department of Education
obligated almost all of the amount to fund a single 5-year grant to a
national nonprofit education organization. The National Education and
Resource Center on Women and Retirement Planning was appropriated
$249,000 for fiscal year 2010, and the Department of Health and Human
Services obligated about $246,000 of that amount that year.

For most of the other programs, financial literacy activities were typically
not organized as separate budget line items or cost centers within federal
agencies. Instead, financial literacy activities were often one element of a
broader effort that itself may or may not have had discrete funding. In
these cases, we asked agency staff to estimate the portion of program
costs that could be attributed to financial literacy activities. This typically
entailed estimating the cost for the portion of staff time devoted to
financial literacy, and sometimes also included the cost of contracts,
printing, or other resources related to financial literacy activities. Because
the methods for estimating costs varied, these costs may not be fully
comparable across agencies.

We did not collect comprehensive information for costs subsequent to
fiscal year 2010, but spending on many financial literacy programs has
been in flux since that time. For example, the Social Security
Administration’s Financial Literacy Research Consortium and the
Financial Education for College Access and Success Program did not
receive new funding in fiscal years 2011 or 2012, and the Excellence in
Economic Education Program did not receive funding for fiscal year 2012.
In addition, at least two agencies—the Department of the Treasury
(Treasury) and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System—
told us that their staffing resources devoted to financial literacy have
declined since 2010. We did not identify any new federal financial literacy
programs created since fiscal year 2010 other than CFPB, which was
being formed as an agency that year.




Page 6                                GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Costs for Housing                       As shown in table 2, two federal agencies and a federally chartered
Counseling Activities                   nonprofit corporation spent about $136.6 million on housing counseling
                                        efforts during fiscal year 2010. 6 We have separated out the costs of
                                        housing counseling from other financial literacy activities because
                                        financial education typically is only a limited aspect of most housing
                                        counseling, which often largely consists of one-on-one assistance to
                                        address individual situations.

Table 2: Estimates for Costs of Four Federal Housing Counseling Programs, Fiscal Year 2010

Agency                       Program or activity                                                FY 2010 estimate                Notes
Department of Housing and    Housing Counseling Assistance Program                                      $65,420,000             FY 2010 obligations
Urban Development
Department of the Treasury   Financial Education and Counseling Pilot                                       4,150,000           FY 2010 appropriation
                             Program
NeighborWorks America        National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling                                   65,000,000            FY 2010 obligations
                             Program
                             Other housing counseling activities                                            2,000,000           Estimate of FY 2010 costs
                                                                                                                                provided by agency staff
Total                                                                                                  $136,570,000
                                        Source: GAO analysis based on federal budget documents and cost estimates provided by agency staff.


                                        As seen above, the Department of Housing and Urban Development
                                        (HUD) obligated about $65.4 million during fiscal year 2010 for its
                                        Housing Counseling Assistance Program, which it used for certifying and
                                        overseeing housing counseling providers, training housing counselors,
                                        and providing counseling agencies with competitive grants. HUD also has
                                        15 other active programs that have some housing counseling component
                                        or allow some portion of their funding to be used for housing counseling. 7
                                        In addition, NeighborWorks America, a federally chartered nonprofit


                                        6
                                         Programs within other agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the Department
                                        of Veterans Affairs, also provide some elements of housing counseling.
                                        7
                                         These programs are the Federal Housing Administration’s Home Equity Conversion
                                        Mortgage; Community Development Block Grant; HOME Investment Partnerships
                                        Program; Second Mortgage Assistance for First-Time Homebuyers; Rural Housing
                                        Stability Grant Program; Public Housing Operating Fund; Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental
                                        Assistance Homeownership Option; Demolition and Disposition of Public Housing; Family
                                        Self-Sufficiency; Public Housing Resident Homeownership Programs; Conversion of
                                        Distressed Public Housing to Tenant-Based Assistance; Low Income Housing
                                        Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act Prepayment Options; Native American
                                        Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act Housing Block Grants; Native Hawaiian
                                        Housing Block Grants; and Section 8 Rental Assistance.




                                        Page 7                                                       GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
corporation, was appropriated $65 million for the National Foreclosure
Mitigation Counseling Program during fiscal year 2010, of which it
expended $59.4 million in grants for counseling, $3 million for training
counselors, and $2.6 million for administrative purposes, according to
agency staff. The organization also estimated that it spent about $2
million on other housing counseling activities—primarily prepurchase
counseling—from funds it received through a separate congressional
appropriation. 8 Treasury’s Financial Education and Counseling Pilot
Program, created by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008,
provided $4.15 million in grants during fiscal year 2010 to provide
counseling to prospective homebuyers. 9 Congress designated $3.15
million for an eligible organization in Hawaii, and Treasury also selected
three additional organizations to receive grants.

In general, funding for housing counseling has varied in recent years. For
example, HUD received no appropriated funds for its Housing Counseling
Assistance Program in fiscal year 2011, but funding was restored to $45
million in fiscal year 2012. The agency has requested $55 million for the
program in its fiscal year 2013 budget request, which it said would help
support the Office of Housing Counseling, a new office created by the
Dodd-Frank Act. The Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program
was appropriated no funds in fiscal years 2011 and 2012.




8
 According to NeighborWorks staff, in addition to its direct appropriations from Congress,
NeighborWorks also received two grants from HUD related to housing counseling in fiscal
year 2010. We have included the funding for those grants in the cost estimate for HUD
rather than NeighborWorks. One grant was for $1,250,501 for comprehensive counseling,
and the second was for $500,000 for counseling under the Home Equity Conversion
Mortgage program, which allows homeowners age 62 or older to tap into the equity in their
homes by borrowing against the value of their home.
9
 Pub. L. No. 110-289, § 1132, 122 Stat. 2654, 2727 (2008) (codified at 12 U.S.C. §1701x
Note).




Page 8                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Some Federal
Financial Literacy
Efforts Overlap and
May Offer
Opportunities for
Consolidation
Financial Literacy Efforts                Federal financial literacy efforts are carried out by multiple federal
Are Spread across Multiple                programs and agencies. As shown in table 3, in fiscal year 2010 there
Federal Agencies                          were 16 significant federal financial literacy programs or activities among
                                          14 federal agencies, as well as 4 housing counseling programs among 2
                                          federal agencies and a federally chartered nonprofit corporation. These
                                          programs and activities covered a wide range of topics and target
                                          audiences and used a variety of delivery mechanisms.

Table 3: Description and Target Audience for Significant Federal Financial Literacy and Housing Counseling Programs and
Activities, Fiscal Year 2010

                                                       Financial Literacy
Agency                  Program or activity        Description                                             Target audience
Board of Governors of   Division of Consumer and   Up-to-date web resources on regulatory changes          Adult consumers and
the Federal Reserve     Community Affairs and      regarding financial products and services, calculators, students
System                  Office of Public Affairs   and information and tools on terms and disclosures
                                                   for credit card accounts, overdraft protection
                                                   programs, gift cards and credit scores. Website offers
                                                   resources for teachers and students of various ages
                                                   and knowledge levels via educational games,
                                                   classroom lesson plans, online publications, and
                                                   multimedia tools.
Consumer Financial      Office of Financial        The Office of Financial Education, Office of            Consumers,
Protection Bureau       Education and other        Servicemember Affairs, Office of Fair Lending and       servicemembers and
                        offices                    Equal Opportunity, and Office of Financial Protection   their families, individuals
                                                   for Older Americans plan to develop and implement       who are 62 years or older
                                                   initiatives to educate and empower consumers in
                                                   general and specific target groups to make informed
                                                   financial decisions.
Department of           Family and Consumer        The National Institute of Food and Agriculture         Youth, rural families,
Agriculture             Economics programs         provides funding to land-grant colleges and            elderly, other financially
                                                   universities and to state and county extension offices vulnerable populations
                                                   to support research and education, including outreach
                                                   events related to personal financial topics.




                                          Page 9                                      GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Department of Defense Personal Financial             Personal financial managers on military installations   Servicemembers and
                      Management Program             provide financial education programs and counseling their families
                      (located within Family         services designed to help servicemembers reach
                      Support Centers)               their financial goals. Services range from consultation
                                                     on financial management, budgeting, and saving, to
                                                     debt reduction strategies, consumer advocacy and
                                                     complaint resolution, financial workshops, retirement
                                                     planning, housing issues and referrals, and education
                                                     programs for youth and teens.
Department of           Excellence in Economic       Competitive grant awarded to an organization that          Students in kindergarten
Education               Education Program            conducts activities, and makes subgrants to other          through grade 12
                                                     organizations, to improve the quality of student
                                                     understanding of personal finance and economics.
                        Financial Education for      Supports state-led efforts to develop, implement, and      Students in middle and
                        College Access and           evaluate personal finance instructional materials and      high-school—generally
                        Success Program              teacher training intended to aid students in making        grades 6-12
                                                     financial aid decisions in relation to postsecondary
                                                     education.
Department of Health    National Education and       Provides women access to a one-stop gateway on             Low-income women,
and Human Services      Resource Center on           retirement, care giving, health, and planning for long-    women of color, women
                        Women and Retirement         term care.                                                 with limited English
                        Planning                                                                                proficiency
Department of Labor     Saving Matters Retirement Workplace campaign to promote retirement savings    Employees, employers,
                        Savings Education         and understanding of federal retirement law using   small businesses
                        Campaign                  interactive web tools, print publications, website,
                                                  public service announcements, seminars, workshops,
                                                  videos, and webcasts.
                        Wi$eUp                       Eight-module financial education curriculum targeting Generation X and Y
                                                     women that covers topics that include money basics, women
                                                     credit, saving and investing, insurance, retirement
                                                     planning, and financial security. Offered online or in a
                                                     classroom setting.
Department of the       Office of Financial          A variety of financial literacy activities, including    All populations
Treasury                Education and Financial      Money Math (four-lesson curriculum integrating
                        Access                       personal finance and math topics), the National
                                                     Financial Capability Challenge (provides teaching
                                                     resources and encouragement and tests high school
                                                     students on personal finance topics), Bank On USA
                                                     (program encouraging access to mainstream financial
                                                     institutions), MyMoney.gov (website on federal
                                                     financial literacy resources), and staff support for the
                                                     Financial Literacy and Education Commission.
Federal Deposit         Money Smart Financial        Eleven-module financial education curriculum for           Low- to moderate-income
Insurance Corporation   Education Program            adults designed to enhance basic financial skills and      adults outside the
                                                     create positive banking relationships, available in nine   financial mainstream and
                                                     languages. Eight-module version is available for           youth ages 12-20
                                                     young adults. The curriculum is available in instructor-
                                                     led, computer-based instruction, and podcast (Mp3)
                                                     formats.




                                           Page 10                                      GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Federal Trade         Division of Consumer and       Multi-media resources covering topics such as credit, Consumers
Commission            Business Education             credit repair, debt collection, job hunting, job scams,
                                                     managing mortgage payments, avoiding foreclosure
                                                     rescue scams, and identity theft.
Office of the         Consumer education             Websites, consumer advisories, public service                                    Consumers
Comptroller of the    activities                     announcements, community outreach, and print and
Currency                                             radio advertisements aimed at educating consumers
                                                     about banking and other financial issues.
Office of Personnel   Retirement Readiness           Retirement education strategy designed to provide                                Federal employees
Management            NOW                            information that will help federal employees plan for
                                                     retirement and calculate the investment needed to
                                                     meet retirement goals.
Securities and      Office of Investor               Provides information to help individual investors                                Investors
Exchange Commission Education and Advocacy           evaluate current and potential investments, make
                                                     informed decisions, and avoid fraud.
Social Security       Financial Literacy             Supported 2-year cooperative agreements with                                     Adults preparing for
Administration        Research Consortium            Boston College, RAND Corporation, and the                                        retirement
                                                     University of Wisconsin to develop innovative
                                                     materials and programs to help Americans plan for a
                                                     secure retirement.
                                     Housing Counseling and Foreclosure Mitigation
Department of Housing Housing Counseling             Certifies and oversees housing counseling providers.                             Low-to moderate-income
and Urban             Assistance Program             Provides competitive grants to approved housing                                  families
Development                                          counseling agencies that provide prepurchase and
                                                     postpurchase counseling, assistance to renters,
                                                     homeless populations, and those seeking to resolve
                                                     mortgage delinquency. Counseling may take place in
                                                     person, over the phone, or via a self-study computer
                                                     module or workbook.
Department of the     Financial Education and        Competitive grants to organizations to provide                                   Prospective homebuyers
Treasury              Counseling Pilot Program       financial education and counseling to prospective
                                                     homebuyers.
NeighborWorks         National Foreclosure           Competitive grants to housing counseling agencies to Homeowners at risk of
America               Mitigation Counseling          provide one-on-one counseling services for           foreclosure
                      Program                        foreclosure prevention.
                      Other housing counseling       Expendable grants for which housing counseling is an Current and prospective
                      activities                     eligible activity.                                   homeowners
                                         Source: GAO analysis based on information from federal agencies and interviews with agency staff.




                                         Page 11                                                        GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
In prior work, we cited a 2009 report that had identified 56 federal
financial literacy programs among 20 agencies. 10 That report, issued by
the RAND Corporation, was based on a survey conducted by Treasury
and the Department of Education that had asked federal agencies to self-
identify their financial literacy efforts. However, our subsequent analysis
of these 56 programs found a high degree of inconsistency in how
different agencies defined financial literacy programs or efforts and
whether they counted related efforts as one or multiple programs. We
believe that our count of 16 significant federal financial literacy programs
or activities and 4 housing counseling programs is based on a more
consistent set of criteria. 11 (See app. II for a crosswalk between the 56
programs cited in a previous report and the 20 programs highlighted in
this report.) We defined “significant” financial literacy programs or
activities as those that were relatively comprehensive in scope or scale—
that is, financial literacy was a key element rather than a minimal
component or tangential goal. We did not include programs or activities
that (1) provided financial information related to the administration of the
program itself—such as information on applying for student financial aid
or evaluating Medicare choices—rather than information aimed at
increasing the beneficiaries’ financial literacy and comprehension more
generally; (2) were purely internal to the agency, such as information
provided to agency employees on their employment and retirement
benefits; or (3) represented individualized services or advice, such as
assistance with tax preparation. 12 Apart from the programs cited in the
tables above, some additional federal agencies address financial literacy
on a smaller scale. For example, the website of the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation (FDIC) includes such things as tips on banking
and protecting your money, and information on foreclosure prevention,



10
  GAO, List of Selected Federal Programs That Have Similar or Overlapping Objectives,
Provide Similar Services, or Are Fragmented Across Government Missions,
GAO-11-474R (Washington, D. C.: Mar. 18, 2011); and GAO-11-318SP. Angela A. Hung,
Kata Mihaly, and Joanne K. Yoong (RAND Corporation), “Federal Financial and Economic
Literacy Education Programs, 2009” (Santa Monica, Calif.: 2010).
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/2010/RAND_TR857.pdf.
11
  Our review was based on programs in place in fiscal year 2010; as noted earlier, at least
three of the programs in place at that time were not funded in fiscal year 2012.
12
  Although the financial literacy activities of the Department of Defense’s Family Support
Centers are largely internal to the agency, we made an exception and included them
because they serve more than 7 million individuals and provide a broad range of
counseling and services.




Page 12                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
identity theft, and deposit insurance. In addition, the website of the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission provides information on fraud
awareness and prevention related to trading futures and options.

Fragmentation of financial literacy programs has evolved over a number
of years, as a result both of statutory requirements and efforts undertaken
at the initiative of federal agencies in addressing their missions. 13
Congress directed the creation of some programs and initiatives,
examples of which include the following:

•     The Office of Personnel Management’s Retirement Readiness NOW
      program and the development of a retirement financial literacy
      strategy for federal employees were required by the Thrift Savings
      Plan Open Elections Act of 2004. 14

•     The Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program was created
      by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. 15

•     The Financial Education for College Access and Success Program
      was authorized under the Fund for the Improvement of Education
      Program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of
      1965. 16

•     The National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program was
      authorized through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, which
      sought to address the mortgage foreclosure crisis by providing
      homeowner counseling and strengthening the nation’s counseling
      capacity. 17




13
  We define fragmentation to refer to those circumstances in which more than one federal
agency (or more than one organization within an agency) is involved in the same broad
area of national need.
14
    Pub. L. 108-469, § 2, 118 Stat. 3892 (2004), 5 U.S.C. § 8350 Note.
15
    Pub. L. No. 110-289, § 1132, 122 Stat. 2654, 2727 (2008), 12 U.S.C. § 1701x Note.
16
  Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, Pub. L. No. 89-10, 79
Stat. 27, 20 U.S.C. §§ 7243-7243b.
17
    Pub. L No. 110-161, Div. K, Title III, 121 Stat. 1844, 2441 (2008).




Page 13                                       GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
•     CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank Act, which specified the
      creation of the bureau’s Office of Financial Education and its role in
      promoting financial literacy. 18

Other financial literacy programs were initiated by agencies as part of
their mission. For example, in line with the Securities and Exchange
Commission’s (SEC) mission as the primary overseer and regulator of the
U.S. securities markets, the agency created the Office of Investor
Education and Advocacy, which gives investors information to evaluate
current and potential investments, make informed decisions, and avoid
fraudulent schemes. Similarly, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC)
financial literacy efforts have stemmed from its responsibilities for
enforcing laws and regulations against unfair or deceptive acts or
practices and protecting consumers in the marketplace.

Having multiple federal agencies involved in financial literacy efforts can
have certain advantages. Some agencies have deep and long-standing
expertise and experience addressing a specific issue area. For example,
HUD has long been a repository for information on housing issues, SEC
on investment issues, and the Department of Labor and Social Security
Administration on retirement issues. Some agencies also have deep
knowledge and ties to particular populations and may be the most
efficient and natural conduit to providing them with information and
services, as with the Department of Defense’s (DOD) role in providing
financial information and counseling to servicemembers and their
families. In addition, providing information from multiple sources or in
multiple formats can increase consumer access and the likelihood of
educating more people. We have previously reported that different
populations respond to different types of delivery mechanisms, such as
one-on-one credit counseling, employer-provided retirement seminars,
and classroom-based education. 19

At the same time, fragmentation increases the risk of inefficiency and
duplication of efforts. Our detailed review of financial literacy efforts
across the federal government has uncovered no duplication—that is,
cases where two or more agencies or programs were engaging in the


18
    Dodd-Frank Act, § 1011, 124 Stat. 1376, 1964 (2010), 12 U.S.C. § 5491.
19
 GAO, Financial Literacy: A Federal Certification Process for Providers Would Pose
Challenges, GAO-11-614 (Washington, D.C.: June 28, 2011).




Page 14                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
same efforts and providing the same services to the same beneficiaries.
In our analysis of the 20 significant financial literacy and housing
counseling programs, we found that programs and efforts had differing
focuses in terms of subject matter, target audience, or delivery method.
This finding is largely consistent with prior reviews of the federal
government’s financial literacy efforts. In 2006, the Financial Literacy and
Education Commission reported that it had studied federal financial
literacy programs or resources and said it found minimal overlap and
duplication among programs, noting that even when different agencies’
programs sometimes appeared similar, closer inspection revealed
important differences in things like the target audience, delivery platform,
or specific content. In response to a recommendation we made that the
commission engage an independent third party to assess these issues,
two subsequent studies were conducted. The first study, contracted by
Treasury to assess federal programs, reported little evidence of
duplication of programs or resources based on comparisons of the
intended program goals and targeted audiences of the assessed
programs and major resources. 20 The second study resulted in the
previously discussed 2009 report by the RAND Corporation, which sought
to create a comprehensive catalog of existing federal financial literacy
programs. It did not identify clear duplication, but it did note that multiple
areas of overlap in subject matter and target audiences warranted more
thorough investigation.

Our review did identify cases of overlap—that is, multiple agencies or
programs with similar goals and activities. For example, as shown earlier,
in fiscal year 2010 there were four discrete housing counseling programs
or activities, which were administered by HUD, NeighborWorks America,
and Treasury. 21 HUD’s Housing Counseling Assistance Program funded a
wide range of housing counseling, including prepurchase and
postpurchase counseling and counseling related to foreclosure mitigation
and prevention of predatory lending, as well as counseling services for



20
 Sarah Baughman, Financial Literacy and Education Commission Independent
Evaluation Final Report (Blacksburg, Va.: May 25, 2009).
21
   Programs at DOD and the Department of Veterans Affairs also provide some elements
of housing counseling. DOD’s Military OneSource and Military and Family Life Consultant
Program provide foreclosure counseling for servicemembers returning home from active
duty abroad, and the Department of Veterans Affairs has loan counselors that address
housing issues in its Regional Loan Centers to help veterans facing foreclosure or other
financial problems.




Page 15                                   GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
renters and homeless populations. 22 Treasury’s Financial Education and
Counseling Pilot Program had goals similar to HUD’s program, although it
focused solely on prepurchase counseling and was intended, in part, to
establish innovative program models for organizations to carry out
effective counseling services. NeighborWorks also provided some
prepurchase counseling and administered the foreclosure mitigation
counseling program designed to help homeowners work with lenders to
cure delinquencies. HUD and NeighborWorks meet regularly and closely
coordinate activities to be complementary, according to HUD staff.

Similarly, five different financial literacy programs were directed at youth
or young adults in fiscal year 2010. Three of these programs—Money
Smart for Young Adults, Money Math, and the National Financial
Capability Challenge—delivered information on similar topics, such as
saving, budgeting, and borrowing, largely via instructor-led lesson plans.
The Excellence in Economic Education Program and the Financial
Education for College Access and Success Program both supported the
development of personal finance instructional materials and teacher
training on personal finance. In addition, FTC addresses youth financial
literacy through an interactive website where youth can play games,
design advertisements, and learn about activities related to target
marketing, supply and demand, privacy protection, and bogus offers. The
website of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System also
offers interactive games and classroom activities on its website for youth
and young adults. Treasury staff told us that while all of these programs
serve youth or young adults, there are significant variations among them
in approach and in content. The staff noted, for example, that the goal of
the National Financial Capability Challenge is to encourage the teaching
of financial topics, rather than to provide content, and that the curricula of
the Money Math and Money Smart for Young Adults programs differ
substantially from each other.

Another example of overlap can be found in two federal financial literacy
programs designed specifically for adult women. The Department of
Labor’s Wi$eUp program targeted Generation X and Y women—women
generally born between the mid-1960s and the mid-1990s—and the


22
  Prepurchase counseling generally helps potential homebuyers learn about buying a
home and explains the financial responsibilities of homeownership. Postpurchase
counseling includes topics such as foreclosure mitigation, budgeting, and home
maintenance.




Page 16                                  GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                            Department of Health and Human Services’ National Education and
                            Resource Center on Women and Retirement Planning targeted
                            traditionally hard-to-reach women, such as low-income women, women of
                            color, and women with limited English proficiency. Both programs cover
                            some of the same topic areas, such as retirement planning, investing, and
                            money basics such as budgeting, saving, and banking. However, staff at
                            the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human
                            Services noted that the programs target different users, have different
                            goals, and engage in different activities—for example, Wi$eUp is an
                            online and classroom curriculum, while the National Resource Center
                            uses peer counselors and offers information through model programs,
                            workshops tailored to meet special needs, and print and web-based
                            publications.


Creation of CFPB May        Additional overlap is evident with the activities of CFPB, which was
Provide Opportunities for   created by the Dodd-Frank Act and became a standing organization in
Consolidation               July 2011. The act established within CFPB an Office of Financial
                            Education and charged it with developing and implementing initiatives
                            intended to educate and empower consumers to make better informed
                            financial decisions. Specifically, the office was directed to provide
                            opportunities for consumers to access, among other things, financial
                            counseling; information to assist consumers with understanding credit
                            products, histories, and scores; information about savings and borrowing
                            tools; and assistance in developing long-term savings strategies and
                            wealth building. The duties of this office are in some ways similar to those
                            of Treasury’s Office of Financial Access, Financial Education, and
                            Consumer Protection, a small office that also seeks to broadly improve
                            Americans’ financial literacy. 23 Treasury established this office in 2002
                            and tasked it with developing and implementing financial education policy
                            initiatives and overseeing and coordinating Treasury’s outreach efforts.
                            Further, the Dodd-Frank Act charged CFPB with developing and
                            implementing a strategy on improving the financial literacy of consumers,
                            even though the Financial Literacy and Education Commission already
                            has its own statutory mandate to develop, and update as necessary, a
                            national strategy for financial literacy. CFPB staff told us that its own
                            national strategy for financial literacy will serve as an operating plan that


                            23
                              In April 2012, Treasury changed the name of the Office of Financial Education and
                            Financial Access to the Office of Financial Access, Financial Education, and Consumer
                            Protection, and the office has taken on new functions related to consumer protection.




                            Page 17                                   GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
is distinct from, but broadly aligned with, the commission’s national
strategy. Staff involved in financial literacy from Treasury and CFPB told
us that they meet regularly and that the two agencies are working closely
together to ensure collaboration and avoid duplication.

CFPB also has other offices that are charged with financial literacy duties
that are in some ways similar to those of other federal agencies. For
example, the Dodd-Frank Act created within CFPB an Office of
Servicemember Affairs, which is responsible for, among other things,
developing and implementing initiatives intended to educate
servicemembers and their families and empower them to make better
informed decisions regarding consumer financial products and services,
monitoring complaints, and coordinating efforts among federal and state
agencies regarding consumer protection measures. These activities
potentially overlap with those of DOD, whose Personal Financial
Managers on military installations provide financial educational programs,
partnerships, counseling, legal protections, and other resources designed
to help servicemembers and their families. Staff of CFPB’s Office of
Servicemember Affairs told us that the office has been actively reaching
out to servicemembers where they live in order to assess their needs, and
between January 2011 and May 2012, the office held 84 events attended
by more than 24,000 people and visited 37 military installations and
National Guard units. Staff also told us that they have taken several steps
to avoid duplicating DOD’s Financial Readiness Program. For example,
they said they will be focusing on reaching servicemembers in the
Delayed Entry Program, a period prior to boot camp during which DOD
does not yet engage in financial education. In addition, CFPB staff said
they have been meeting monthly with DOD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary
of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy and his staff to
coordinate their activities to avoid duplication across agencies. CFPB and
DOD have also developed two Joint Statements of Principles, one on how
they are going to handle complaints and the other on educational efforts
and small-dollar lending.

In addition, CFPB and several other agencies provide financial literacy
services that target older Americans. The Dodd-Frank Act created the
Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans within CFPB and
charged the office to develop goals for programs that provide financial
literacy and counseling to help seniors recognize the warning signs of
unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices, and protect themselves from such
practices. These activities potentially overlap with those of FTC, which
also plays a role in helping seniors avoid unfair and deceptive practices.
For example, FTC has provided information to seniors on a range of


Page 18                            GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
topics, such as obtaining credit over the age of 62, avoiding charity fraud,
recognizing and reporting telemarketing fraud, and avoiding scammers
who may pose as friends, family, or government agencies. In an effort to
work together and avoid duplication, CFPB and FTC finalized a
memorandum of understanding in January 2012 to help, among other
things, cooperate on consumer education efforts, promote consistency of
messages, and maximize the use of educational resources. The Dodd-
Frank Act also charged the Office of Financial Protection for Older
Americans to develop goals for programs that provide one-on-one
financial counseling on long-term savings and later-life economic security.
As discussed earlier, the Department of Labor’s Saving Matters
Retirement Savings Education Campaign also plays a role in educating
consumers on retirement issues and the Social Security Administration
had a special initiative, as part of an earlier strategic plan, to encourage
saving and to inform the public about its programs. In January 2012, staff
at CFPB told us that the Office of Financial Protection for Older
Americans had only recently become fully staffed and that the office had
begun working with other federal and state agencies to identify best
practices for educating and counseling senior citizens, identifying unfair
and deceptive practices targeting this population, and advocating on their
behalf.

Other potential areas of overlap include CFPB’s Office of Fair Lending
and Equal Opportunity, which plays a role in providing education on fair
lending, as do the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, FDIC, and
FTC. CFPB has also created an Office for Students to work with
complaints and questions regarding student loans. However, the
Department of Education already has a number of web-based tools in
place to help students understand financial aid and student loans. CFPB
staff told us that one key distinction is that CFPB addresses private
student loans, while the Department of Education addresses federally
supported student loans. They also noted that they are coordinating with
the Department of Education and have developed a memorandum of
understanding with the department, and have jointly designed a standard
student loan award letter and fact sheet.

The Dodd-Frank Act gave CFPB a primary role in addressing financial
literacy, and the agency’s Office of Financial Education—staffed at 10 full-
time equivalents as of June 2012—has significant financial literacy
resources relative to many other agencies. Yet there are similarities in
mission between CFPB’s statutory responsibilities and those of certain
other federal entities. As we have noted in the past, federal programs
contributing to the same or similar results should collaborate to help


Page 19                             GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
ensure that goals are consistent and, as appropriate, program efforts are
mutually reinforcing. 24 Collaborating agencies should work together to
define and agree on their respective roles and responsibilities and, in
doing so, clarify who will do what and organize their joint and individual
efforts. As noted above, during its initial development, CFPB has been
meeting with other federal entities to coordinate their efforts. Ensuring
clear delineation of the respective roles and responsibilities between
CFPB and agencies with overlapping financial literacy responsibilities is
essential to help ensure efficient use of resources.

The creation of multiple efforts within the federal government to address
financial literacy has been the result of both legislation and initiatives
within agencies. We have noted in the past that fragmentation in
government programs often is the result of an adaptive and responsive
federal government. 25 As new needs were identified, the common
response has been a proliferation of responsibilities and roles to federal
departments and agencies, perhaps targeted to a new audience or
involving a new subject area. However, overlap and fragmentation among
government programs or activities can, in some circumstances, lead to
inefficiency, and the President and some members of Congress have set
a goal of reorganizing and consolidating federal agencies to reduce the
number of overlapping government programs. 26 In addition, as noted
earlier, the multiagency Financial Literacy and Education Commission
was charged by statute with proposing means of eliminating overlap and
duplication among federal financial literacy activities. 27 The creation of
CFPB, which will play a primary role in financial literacy, provides an
opportunity for the commission and its member agencies to consider
options for consolidating federal financial literacy efforts, which could help
ensure the most efficient and effective use of federal resources in this
area. While our February 2012 report stated that we expected to suggest


24
 GAO, Results-Oriented Government: Practices That Can Help Enhance and Sustain
Collaboration among Federal Agencies, GAO-06-15 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 21, 2005).
25
  GAO, Managing for Results: Using the Results Act to Address Mission Fragmentation
and Program Overlap, GAO/AIMD-97-146 (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 29, 1997).
26
  For example, see Executive Office of the President, Building a 21st Century
Government by Cutting Duplication, Fragmentation, and Waste (Washington, D.C.: Feb.
28, 2012).
27
 Pub. L. No. 108-159, § 514(f)(2)(d), 117 Stat. 1952, 2006 (Dec. 4, 2003) (codified at 20
U.S.C. § 9703(f)(2)(d)).




Page 20                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                             that Congress consider options for such consolidation, the commission is
                             better positioned to do so and this would be consistent with its statutory
                             responsibility to address overlap and duplication.


                             In addition to CFPB’s efforts cited above, there has been a significant
Agencies Coordinate          amount of coordination among other federal agencies with regard to their
Their Efforts, but           financial literacy efforts, as well as evidence of collaboration among
                             federal agencies and state, local, nonprofit, and private entities. The
Opportunities Exist to       Financial Literacy and Education Commission has played a key role in
Better Address the           fostering this coordination and collaboration. However, its national
Appropriate                  strategy does not include a discussion of the appropriate allocation of
                             federal resources.
Allocation of
Resources

Coordination and             Federal agencies involved in addressing financial literacy have a variety
Collaboration Occur          of mechanisms for coordinating their efforts, examples of which include
through a Variety of Means   the following:

                             •   The Government Interagency Group is a working group of program-
                                 level staff from federal agencies that address financial literacy. The
                                 group meets three times a year to share ideas and best practices. The
                                 group is organized by the American Savings Education Council, a
                                 nonprofit organization and national coalition of public and private
                                 sector institutions focused on savings and retirement planning.

                             •   The Department of Education, FDIC, and the National Credit Union
                                 Administration signed an agreement in November 2010 designed to
                                 encourage partnerships between schools, financial institutions, federal
                                 grantees, and other stakeholders to educate students about saving,
                                 budgeting and making wise financial decisions.

                             •   SEC has partnered with the Department of Labor to develop guidance
                                 to help individuals understand the operations and risks of target-date
                                 fund investments, which are often mutual funds that change
                                 automatically to become more conservative as the fund’s target date
                                 approaches. SEC has also worked with the Internal Revenue Service
                                 to include an insert about SEC’s investor education resources,




                             Page 21                            GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
     including its Investor.gov education website, in the mailing of tax
     refund checks.

•    As part of its Retirement Financial Literacy and Education Strategy for
     federal employees, the Office of Personnel Management has efforts
     under way to provide training and tools to the benefits officers of
     individual federal agencies, and to identify existing resources that
     federal agencies might use for the financial education of their
     employees.

•    The Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration have
     worked together with AARP—a nonprofit organization focused on
     people age 50 and over—to host workshops for workers nearing
     retirement.

In addition to interagency coordination, the federal government has
certain mechanisms in place to coordinate or partner with nonfederal
entities, including states and localities and nonprofit and private entities.
In January 2010, the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability
was created by executive order. 28 The council was tasked with a number
of specific charges, including advising the President and the Secretary of
the Treasury on: financial education efforts, promoting financial products
and services that are beneficial to consumers (especially low- and
moderate-income consumers), and promoting understanding of effective
use of such products and services. In its January 2012 interim report, the
council recommended that Treasury support a newly created private-
sector award program recognizing employers that provide outstanding
financial education to their employees. 29 The council meets regularly and
has established subcommittees to address issues related to research and
evaluation, partnerships between the public and private sectors,
expanding financial access to low- and moderate-income households,
and youth.




28
  Exec. Order No. 13,530, 75 Fed. Reg. 5481 (Jan. 29, 2010). Prior to the President’s
Advisory Council on Financial Capability, created by President Obama, there was the
President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, which was created by executive order
by President Bush in January 2008. Exec. Order No. 13,455, 73 Fed. Reg. 4445 (Jan. 22,
2008).
29
  U.S. Department of the Treasury, Interim Report: President’s Advisory Council on
Financial Capability (Washington D.C.: Jan. 18, 2012).




Page 22                                   GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
To facilitate and advance financial literacy at the state and local levels,
the Financial Literacy and Education Commission created the National
Financial Education Network for State and Local Governments in April
2007. Network members include state and local agencies and national
organizations that share information through activities including periodic
conference calls and a web-based database of financial literacy projects
and programs.

Some federal agencies also partner with nonprofit and private
organizations to expand outreach. Many federal agencies are members of
Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, a nonprofit
partnership that focuses on financial literacy for young adults. Treasury
partnered with Jump$tart, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and
Citigroup to develop Money Math: Lessons for Life, a financial literacy
curriculum supplement for educators. FDIC has signed collaboration
agreements or reached informal agreements with more than 1,200 active
“alliance members” that promote or enhance the implementation of its
Money Smart curriculum. Alliance members include financial institutions,
schools or other educational service providers, military installations,
community-based organizations, faith-based groups, employment and
training service providers, government agencies, and other organizations.
Likewise, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
participates in Bank On USA programs, which are locally led coalitions of
government agencies, financial institutions, and community organizations
that focus on financial education and access for individuals and families
who do not use mainstream financial institutions.

Federal agencies also collaborate with nonfederal entities with regard to
financial literacy through the process of administering grants. For
example, HUD provides training, guidance, and technical assistance to a
network of community-based counseling agencies that it funds through its
Housing Counseling Assistance Program. HUD also works with
NeighborWorks, which is partially funded through HUD, in implementing
the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program. Additionally, the
Department of Agriculture collaborates with land-grant universities on
financial literacy projects through grants provided by its National Institute
of Food and Agriculture. 30 Also, DOD has collaborated with land-grant


30
  A land-grant college or university is an institution of higher education designated by its
state to receive certain federal benefits where the focus is to be on the teaching of
agriculture, science, and engineering.




Page 23                                      GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                             universities to offer programs and classes for military families and
                             veterans.

                             Federal agencies have also collaborated with academic researchers and
                             organizations on financial literacy research and product development. For
                             example, in October 2008, Treasury and the Department of Agriculture
                             convened a National Research Symposium on Financial Literacy and
                             Education that sought to identify gaps in existing research and develop
                             research priorities. Twenty-nine experts in the fields of behavioral and
                             consumer economics, financial risk assessment, and financial education
                             evaluation joined to summarize existing financial research findings,
                             identify gaps in the literature, and define and prioritize questions for future
                             analysis. In addition, through the Financial Literacy Research Consortium
                             funded in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, the Social Security Administration
                             worked with Boston College, RAND Corporation, and the University of
                             Wisconsin to develop financial literacy educational tools and programs
                             focusing on retirement savings and planning.


The Financial Literacy and   In general, we found that coordination and collaboration among federal
Education Commission         agencies with regard to financial literacy has improved in recent years, in
Has Improved                 large part due to the efforts of the Financial Literacy and Education
                             Commission. As noted earlier, the commission is currently comprised of
Coordination but Has Not     21 federal entities and was charged with, among other things,
Addressed Resource           coordinating federal financial literacy efforts and promoting partnerships
Allocation                   among federal, state, and local governments; nonprofit organizations; and
                             private enterprises. Before the formation of the commission, agencies had
                             no formal mechanism within the federal government through which to
                             coordinate on financial literacy activities. In a 2006 report, we noted that
                             the commission enhanced communication and collaboration among
                             agencies involved in financial literacy by creating a single focal point for
                             federal agencies to come together on the issue of financial literacy. The
                             commission also developed a national strategy that included calls to
                             action on interagency efforts. 31 Additional activities undertaken by the
                             commission to foster coordination or collaboration include the following:




                             31
                              GAO, Financial Literacy and Education Commission: Further Progress Needed to
                             Ensure an Effective National Strategy, GAO-07-100 (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 4, 2006).




                             Page 24                                  GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
•    Meetings and working groups. The commission holds formal meetings
     three times per year and, at the staff level, has several working
     groups, each represented by several federal agencies, including
     teams devoted to implementing the national strategy, promoting
     research and evaluation, and improving financial access.

•    MyMoney.gov website. The commission was charged by statute with
     developing a financial education website that provides a coordinated
     point of entry for information about federal financial literacy programs
     and grants. The commission launched the MyMoney.gov website in
     October 2004.

•    Clearinghouse of research and resources. The commission is in the
     process of developing a clearinghouse of federal research and
     resources on financial literacy. This clearinghouse will aggregate
     financial literacy research and information across federal agencies in
     one public website.

•    Reviews of federal activities. As discussed earlier, the commission
     and Treasury contracted for two reports that cataloged and reviewed
     financial literacy efforts across the federal government, which helped
     inform federal agencies of each other’s activities and foster
     opportunities for coordination and collaboration.

In April 2006, the Financial Literacy and Education Commission issued a
national strategy, which it was required by law to develop and modify as
necessary, and in December 2010, it issued Promoting Financial Success
in the United States: National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2011. 32 In
our 2006 report, we found that the commission’s first national strategy
was a useful first step in focusing attention on financial literacy but was
largely descriptive rather than strategic. We noted that the strategy only
partially included certain characteristics that we consider to be desirable
in any national strategy, including a description of resources required to
implement the strategy. Our review of the 2011 national strategy indicates
that it still does not fully address this element. An effective national


32
  Pub. L. No. 108-159, § 514(h), 117 Stat. 1952, 2004 (Dec. 4, 2003) (codified at 20
U.S.C. § 9703(h)). Financial Literacy and Education Commission, Taking Ownership of
the Future: The National Strategy for Financial Literacy (Washington, D.C.: April 2006),
and Financial Literacy and Education Commission, Promoting Financial Success in the
United States: National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2011 (Washington, D.C.: December
2010).




Page 25                                   GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
strategy should include a discussion of resources, describing what a
strategy will cost, the sources and types of resources needed, and where
those resources should be targeted. The 2011 national strategy
discusses the consumer education resources that the federal government
makes available to consumers, and it sets building public awareness of
these resources as a goal. However, the 2011 strategy still does not
address the level and type of resources needed to implement the
strategy, nor does it review the budgetary resources available to federal
agencies for financial literacy efforts and how they might best be
allocated. We have noted in the past that the governance structure of the
commission presents challenges in addressing resource issues: it relies
on the consensus of more than 20 federal agencies, has no independent
budget, and has no legal authority to compel member agencies to take
any action. 33 However, the commission does have the ability to at least
identify resource needs and make recommendations or provide guidance
on how Congress or federal agencies might allocate scarce federal
financial literacy resources for maximum benefit. Without a clear
description of resource needs, policymakers lack information to help
direct the strategy’s implementation, and without recommendations on
resource allocations, policymakers lack information to help ensure the
most efficient and effective use of federal funds. Additionally, addressing
resource needs and allocations in the commission’s national strategy
would facilitate its statutory responsibility, discussed earlier, to propose
means of eliminating overlap and duplication among federal financial
literacy activities.




33
  GAO, Financial Literacy and Education Commission: Progress Made in Fostering
Partnerships, but National Strategy Remains Largely Descriptive Rather Than Strategic,
GAO-09-638T (Washington, D.C.: Apr.29, 2009).




Page 26                                   GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                             Most federal financial literacy activities include an evaluation component,
Overall Effectiveness        but variation in the types of activities and the methods of evaluation
of Federal Financial         create challenges in comparing results across programs. As we reported
                             in June 2011, relatively few evidence-based evaluations of financial
Literacy Programs Is         literacy programs have been conducted, limiting what is known about
Difficult to Measure,        which specific methods and strategies—and which federal financial
                             literacy activities—are most effective. 34 Several federal agencies have
but Additional               efforts under way seeking to determine the most effective approaches
Evaluation Efforts           and programs.
Are Under Way
Agencies Assess Their        The wide range of federal financial literacy programs and activities and
Financial Literacy Efforts   their evaluation metrics and methods, makes it difficult to systematically
in Various Ways              assess overall effectiveness or compare results across programs. Among
                             the 20 significant federal financial literacy and housing counseling
                             programs that we reviewed, we found that nearly all had assessed or
                             measured their activities in some manner and, where feasible, many had
                             undertaken some method of seeking to measure outcomes. Some of
                             these evaluations sought to assess the effect of the program on the
                             actual behavior of program participants and some assessed the effect of
                             the program on knowledge, attitudes, or anticipated behavior. As we have
                             reported in the past, in general the ultimate goal of financial education is
                             to favorably affect consumer behavior, such as to promote improved
                             saving and spending habits and wise use of credit. As such, financial
                             literacy program evaluations are most reliable and effective when they
                             measure the programs’ impact on consumers’ behavior. While there is
                             fairly extensive literature on financial literacy in general, relatively few
                             evaluations of financial literacy programs have been published that use
                             empirical evidence to measure a program’s impact on the participants’
                             behavior. 35

                             In addition, there are many significant challenges to rigorous and
                             definitive evaluations of financial literacy programs. Outcome-based
                             evaluation can be expensive and methodologically challenging,
                             particularly long-term evaluation using a controlled experimental




                             34
                               GAO, Financial Literacy: A Federal Certification Process for Providers Would Pose
                             Challenges, GAO-11-614 (Washington, D.C.: June 28, 2011).
                             35
                              GAO-11-614.




                             Page 27                                   GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
methodology, which can be especially time and labor intensive. 36 As well,
measuring a change in participant behavior is much more difficult than
measuring a gain in knowledge, which can often be captured through a
simple exam at program completion. Some financial literacy programs
and activities, such as those using broadcast media to disseminate
information, may also simply not be well-suited to outcome-based
evaluation because the program has no direct contact with the intended
audience. Further, given the many variables that can affect consumer
behavior and decision making, ascribing long-term changes to a particular
program is difficult. In addition, some program activities, such as posting
a webpage, may be too small in scope to warrant conducting an outcome
evaluation study, so tracking output measures—such as the number of
individuals served or the volume of materials distributed—may be the only
feasible option. One academic review of financial literacy evaluations
found that the majority of financial literacy programs it reviewed measured
only program outputs. 37

Among the federal financial literacy programs and activities we reviewed,
we identified a number of cases in which evaluation included at least
some assessment of the effect on consumer behavior of activities
operated or funded by federal agencies:

•    National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program. NeighborWorks
     contracted with the Urban Institute for a study resulting in a series of
     reports, the most recent of which was published in December 2011,
     which evaluated program outcomes of the federally funded National
     Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program. The study found that
     among homeowners who received loan modifications, those who
     received counseling under the program were more likely to avoid
     entering foreclosure, successfully cure existing foreclosures, or obtain




36
  A controlled experimental methodology is a research design that randomly assigns
participants to treatment and control groups in order to rigorously analyze the effects of
the studied activity.
37
 Angela C. Lyons, Lance Palmer, Koralalage S. U. Jayaratne, and Erik Scherpf, “Are We
Making the Grade? A National Overview of Financial Education and Program Evaluation,”
The Journal of Consumer Affairs 40 (2006): 208-35.




Page 28                                     GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
     favorable loan modifications than those who did not receive the
     counseling. 38

•    U.S. Army personal financial management training. In 2009, staff at
     the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System conducted a
     study of a U.S. Army personal financial management training, which
     included a 2-day financial education course taught by college staff for
     young servicemembers enlisted at a Texas army base. Participants
     were surveyed on their financial behaviors 6 months after completing
     the course and compared with a control group of soldiers who did not
     take the course. After controlling for other factors, the study found that
     the financial education course did not have a significant effect on most
     of the soldiers’ financial behaviors, such as comparison shopping,
     saving, and paying bills on time. 39

•    Money Smart. FDIC collaborated in an independent evaluation of the
     Money Smart program in 2003 that measured its effectiveness on a
     sample of adult program participants who did not have accounts at
     banks or other mainstream financial institutions. The study found that
     80 percent of those who completed Money Smart said they intended
     to open a bank account, although it did not collect data on whether
     they actually did so. 40 A second study conducted by FDIC in 2007
     surveyed individuals prior and subsequent to their participation in the
     program and also followed up by telephone 6 to 12 months after their
     final class. It found that participants were more likely to open deposit
     accounts, save money in a mainstream deposit product, use and
     adhere to a budget, and experience greater confidence in their




38
  The Urban Institute, National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program Evaluation:
Final Report, Rounds 1 and 2 (Washington, D.C.: December 2011).
39
  When controlling for multiple factors, the study found that the course did not have an
impact on most financial behaviors, with the exception that soldiers who took the course
were more likely than the comparison group to report using informal spending plans and
less likely to report using formal spending plans. The authors controlled for the following
additional factors: years in the military, pay grade, gender, education, race/ethnicity,
marital status, premilitary experiences, and possession of a credit card. Catherine Bell,
Daniel Gorin, and Jeanne M. Hogarth, Does Financial Education Affect Soldiers’ Financial
Behavior? (Terre Haute, Ind.: Networks Financial Institute, August 2009).
40
 Angela Lyons and Erik Scherpf, An Evaluation of the FDIC’s Financial Literacy Program
Money Smart (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 2003).




Page 29                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
     financial abilities. 41 However, this study did not have the benefit of a
     control group—that is, it did not measure participants in the program
     against a comparison group that did not participate in the program.
     FDIC is currently evaluating the effect of Money Smart for Young
     Adults on the financial knowledge and behavior of young adults (ages
     12 to 20). The agency said it expects the evaluation to be completed
     by the end of 2013.

•    HUD housing counseling. In 2008, HUD published a report that
     presented a systematic overview of the housing counseling industry
     and HUD-approved housing counseling providers. 42 In May 2012, two
     reports were published resulting from the Housing Counseling
     Outcome Evaluation. The first report looked at a sample of individuals
     who received foreclosure mitigation counseling from HUD-funded and
     HUD-approved agencies between August 2009 and December
     2009. 43 The findings indicated that 18 months after initiating
     foreclosure counseling, 56 percent of homeowners were in the home
     and current on their payments, 28 percent were in the home and
     behind on their payments, and 16 percent were out of the home.
     However, the study did not include a control group to compare this
     group of homeowners to others who had not received foreclosure
     counseling. The second report examined prepurchase counseling and
     found that 35 percent of the study participants had become
     homeowners 18 months after seeking prepurchase counseling; this
     study also did not include a control group. 44 HUD is in the process of
     conducting an additional prepurchase counseling demonstration and
     impact evaluation that will track up to 6,000 individuals to examine the
     effectiveness of different housing counseling delivery methods



41
  Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, A Longitudinal Evaluation of the Intermediate-
term Impact of the Money Smart Financial Education Curriculum upon Consumers’
Behavior and Confidence (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 2007).
42
 Christopher E. Herbert, Jennifer Turnham, and Christopher N. Rodger, The State of the
Housing Counseling Industry, Abt Associates Inc. for the U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development (Cambridge, Mass.: Sept. 2008).
43
 Anna Jefferson, Jonathan Spader, Jennifer Turnham, and Shawn Moulton, Foreclosure
Counseling Outcome Study: Final Report, Abt Associates Inc. for the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development (Cambridge, Mass.: May 2012).
44
 Jennifer Turnham, and Anna Jefferson, Pre-Purchase Counseling Outcome Study:
Research Brief, Abt Associates Inc. for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development (Bethesda, Md.: May 2012).




Page 30                                   GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
     compared to a control group of individuals not receiving counseling.
     Data collection is expected to begin around September 2012, and an
     initial report is expected by May 2014.

•    Financial Literacy Research Consortium. In 2009 the Social Security
     Administration established a Financial Literacy Research Consortium
     that funded 63 research projects at three academic centers on a
     range of consumer financial behavior and retirement savings issues.
     According to agency staff, 11 of these projects included evaluations of
     the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve consumer
     financial literacy. For example, one study funded through the
     consortium at the University of Wisconsin found that a 5-hour online
     financial education module led to modest increases in knowledge of
     financial issues, but no changes in self-reported financial behaviors 3
     months later. 45 Another project has randomly assigned 600
     homebuyers to varying combinations of financial planning
     interventions to be completed during the first year after home
     purchase. 46 The project is ongoing, and evaluation of the
     effectiveness of the interventions will be conducted in subsequent
     years. 47

•    U.S. Department of Agriculture Family and Consumer Economics
     programs. The Department of Agriculture encourages land-grant
     institutions receiving grants for financial literacy activities to conduct
     some form of evaluation, and some grantees have sought to evaluate
     program outcomes. For example, researchers at Ohio State University
     examined the outcomes of a youth curriculum designed to enhance
     money management skills. Three months after the completion of the
     program, more than 80 percent of students in 6th-12th grades




45
 J. Michael Collins, Online Financial Education for Employees: A Randomized
Experiment (University of Wisconsin, CFS Research Brief (FLRC 11-13): October 2011).
46
 Stephanie Moulton, Cäzilia Loibl, J. Michael Collins, and Anya Savikhin, Field
Experiments on the Impacts of Financial Planning Interventions for Recent Homebuyers,
University of Wisconsin Center for Financial Security Working Paper, October 2011.
47
  Although the Financial Literacy Consortium received no new funding after fiscal year
2010, the Social Security Administration allowed three grantees funded by the consortium
to use grant funds until September 29, 2012, to complete their projects.




Page 31                                   GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
     reported improvements in the extent to which they repaid money on
     time, set aside money for the future, and compared prices. 48

•    Financial Education for College Access and Success Program. In
     2010, the U.S. Department of Education’s Financial Education for
     College Access and Success Program provided a grant to the
     Tennessee Department of Education to measure the program’s effect
     on student knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, including rates of
     financial aid form completion, college enrollment, decisions regarding
     financial aid, and use of financial products and services. Agency
     officials said that the study will also measure the effect of the project
     on the knowledge, attitudes, and instructional skills of participating
     teachers. Results of the study were not available as of May 2012.

•    Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program. Treasury requires
     the homebuyer counseling organizations that receive program grants
     to periodically report on the results of two output goals (numbers
     served and hours of service provided) and three outcome goals
     chosen by the grantees (such as changes in participant savings,
     credit scores, or debt). As of April 2012, limited information was
     available about the program’s impact because grantees had provided
     outcome data no earlier than 2011, while some of the desired
     outcomes of their programs can take years to realize. 49

•    Wi$eUp. As of 2010, more than 19,000 individuals had participated in
     Wi$eUp’s eight-module financial education curriculum. The program
     tracks the percentage of participants who, as a result of their
     participation, reduced their debt and increased their savings or
     investments. Individuals complete pre- and postassessments for each
     module and are asked to complete a 3-month follow-up assessment
     to determine the financial changes they have made. Sixty-nine
     percent of participants in programs conducted in 2009 by Texas
     A&M’s AgriLife Extension reported reducing their debt by a median of
     $500 since taking the Wi$eUp course, and 62 percent reported




48
  Lisa Sotak, Theresa M. Ferrari, Nancy W. Hudson, Graham Cochran, and Beth L.
Bridgeman, Outcomes of Participation in Real Money, Real World, 2007 Statewide
Evaluation Final Report , Ohio State University Extension, Mar. 17, 2008.
49
 For additional information on the program, see GAO, Financial Education and
Counseling Program, GAO-11-737R (Washington, D.C.: July 27, 2011).




Page 32                                  GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
    increasing their savings or investments.

Some agencies that we reviewed, while not assessing program effect on
participant behavior, have reported on the effect on participant knowledge
or attitudes or have future plans for evaluating behavior:

•   Excellence in Economic Education Program. In 2009, program
    subgrantees gave standardized tests to 6,040 middle and high school
    students and 894 teachers shortly after they had completed the
    economics and personal finance instructional activities of the
    Excellence in Economic Education Program. Fifty-eight percent of
    students participating in projects funded through the program scored
    proficient on standardized tests of economics, personal finance, or
    both, compared to their target goal of 70 percent. In addition, 82
    percent of teachers participating in the projects showed a significant
    increase in their scores on a standardized measure of economic
    content knowledge, as compared to the target goal of 70 percent.

•   Federal Reserve System. Staff of the Board of Governors of the
    Federal Reserve System told us that the board does not conduct
    assessments of its financial literacy activities. However, some regional
    Federal Reserve Banks—which are part of the system but are not
    themselves federal agencies—do assess their own financial literacy
    activities. For example, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, in
    partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, used third-
    party experts to conduct a 2-year assessment of the effectiveness of
    their financial literacy programs and materials, as well as to design
    and test tools for measuring knowledge gains and behavior changes.

•   DOD Family Support Centers. DOD is in the second phase of the
    Military Family Life Project, a longitudinal department-wide survey of
    40,000 married active-duty servicemembers and 100,000 military
    spouses designed to capture the long-term impact of deployment on
    families and to improve the support provided to them. According to
    DOD staff, one purpose of the study is to assess the financial
    readiness of servicemembers. In addition, DOD staff told us that as
    part of a larger evaluation effort of its family support programs, DOD is
    collaborating with a team of researchers from Pennsylvania State
    University to develop outcome measures for the department’s
    financial readiness campaign and the services of its personal finance
    counselors. While the outcomes to be measured are still being
    determined, they may include changes in servicemembers’ financial
    knowledge and behaviors, the staff said.



Page 33                             GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
•   Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. CFPB’s financial literacy
    efforts have not been in place long enough for evaluation, but staff
    told us that evaluation will be a key component of its financial literacy
    activities and, as discussed later in this report, the bureau’s Office of
    Financial Education contracted with a third party with specialized
    expertise to help assess the effectiveness of financial literacy
    programs.

Outcome-based evaluation is not always well suited for some financial
literacy efforts, such as those that use mass media or distribute
informational materials broadly. As such, several federal financial literacy
programs that we reviewed collect information largely on output
measures, such as number of individuals served or the volume of
materials distributed. In some instances, the programs also measure the
degree to which customers are satisfied with the service provided.

•   Federal Trade Commission. FTC’s Division of Consumer and
    Business Education tracks its financial literacy activities based on
    materials distributed and webpages accessed by consumers and
    businesses. It reported that in 2010 it distributed more than 17 million
    publications and its consumer and business education websites were
    accessed more than 26 million times.

•   Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The agency collects data on
    the number of website hits, media placements, audience reach, and
    the dollar value of donated air time for its public service
    announcements. In fiscal year 2011, it ran four media campaigns
    related to financial literacy, which included print and radio features in
    English and Spanish that appeared 14,079 times in 44 states. Its
    Consumer Education websites received 699,904 visits.

•   SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. SEC measures the
    number of investors its education efforts reach, which was 17.8 million
    in fiscal year 2010. SEC staff told us they are planning a future
    evaluation that will include, among other things, customer satisfaction
    with usefulness of investor education programs and materials. In
    addition, the Dodd-Frank Act directed SEC to submit by July 21, 2012,
    a study of retail investors’ financial literacy, which must identify “the
    most effective existing private and public efforts to educate investors.”

•   National Education and Resource Center on Women and Retirement
    Planning. Staff at the Department of Health and Human Services told
    us they had not evaluated the program, but that the nonprofit
    administering the program had distributed more than 3,000 copies of


Page 34                              GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                                 publications and training materials available at conferences and
                                 workshops directed to the financial services industry, women’s
                                 groups, advocacy groups, and senior centers.

                            •    Treasury’s Office of Financial Access, Financial Education, and
                                 Consumer Protection. The office collects participation statistics for its
                                 National Financial Capability Challenge, which provides teaching
                                 resources and encouragement and tests high school students on
                                 personal finance topics, and reported 84,372 students and 2,517
                                 educators participating in 2011. The program also collects and
                                 publicly reports on average scores (by state and nationally), perfect
                                 scores, and students in the top 20 percent of scores nationally and by
                                 state.

                            •    Saving Matters Retirement Savings Education Campaign. The
                                 Department of Labor conducts surveys at the program’s seminars and
                                 webcasts as part of an in-house evaluation process. The evaluations,
                                 conducted with the assistance of the Gallup Organization, assess the
                                 number of participants reached by the program, usefulness of the
                                 program, and satisfaction of participants, with a goal of an 85 percent
                                 satisfaction rate on its seminars, workshops, and webcasts. The
                                 department also tracks attendance at these events, the distribution of
                                 its publications, and the use of interactive online tools, videos, and
                                 webcast archives.

Several Efforts to Better   As discussed previously, several federal financial literacy programs—
Assess Effectiveness Are    such as Money Smart for Young Adults, HUD’s Housing Counseling
Under Way                   Assistance Program, and the DOD Financial Readiness Campaign—are
                            in the early stages of significant evaluations that may provide information
                            about program effectiveness in the future. In addition to those evaluations
                            of individual agency efforts, certain other federal efforts are under way
                            that apply across agencies and seek more broadly to understand the
                            most effective methods and strategies for improving financial literacy. 50

                            •    Financial Literacy and Education Commission. The 2011 national
                                 strategy and its implementation plan set as one of its four goals



                            50
                              In GAO-12-342SP, we stated that we expected to recommend that Congress consider
                            requiring federal agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of their financial literacy efforts.
                            Based on our subsequent review of the measures described in this section, we believe
                            that such a recommendation is not necessary at this time.




                            Page 35                                      GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
     identifying, enhancing, and sharing effective practices. As previously
     discussed, Treasury staff told us that the commission has begun to
     establish a clearinghouse of evidence-based research and evaluation
     studies, current financial topics and trends of interest to consumers,
     innovative approaches, and best practices. According to Treasury
     staff, the clearinghouse will be available through the MyMoney.gov
     website and will have links to research and data sets from federally
     supported financial literacy projects. The clearinghouse is being
     developed by a contractor but will be maintained by Treasury and is
     expected to be available around September 2012. In addition, the
     commission’s Research and Evaluation Working Group is charged
     with encouraging multidisciplinary research and sharing effective
     practices among federal agencies. In May 2012, the working group
     released a report on research questions and priorities that is intended
     to inform federal agencies, researchers, and others on the most
     important questions facing the field of financial literacy and to help
     make best use of limited research dollars. 51

•    CFPB’s Office of Financial Education. CFPB’s Office of Financial
     Education recently contracted with The Urban Institute for a financial
     education program evaluation project, which seeks to increase
     understanding of which interventions can improve financial decision-
     making skills in consumers. The effectiveness of selected financial
     education programs will be evaluated using a data collection tool and
     will be tested against a control group. Staff told us they intend to use
     the insights from the study to provide direction to practitioners about
     how to design and support effective financial capability and money
     confidence programs. A report is expected to be issued in the spring
     of 2014. In addition, CFPB’s Office of Financial Education has
     collaborated with its Office of Research to develop metrics for
     financial education, according to agency staff.

•    Office of Personnel Management. As part of its Retirement Readiness
     NOW program, the Office of Personnel Management is developing a
     rating system to determine which federal agencies are most effective
     in providing financial literacy and retirement education to the civilian
     labor force. According to agency staff, the ranking system is intended
     to help hold federal agencies accountable for their retirement


51
 Financial Literacy and Education Commission, 2012 Research Priorities and Research
Questions: Financial Literacy and Education Commission Research & Evaluation Working
Group (Washington, D.C.: May 2012).




Page 36                                 GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                  education plans and strategies.

              •   Treasury’s Office of Financial Access, Financial Education, and
                  Consumer Protection. This office has contracted out a research
                  project assessing financial capability outcomes for both youth and
                  adults, with results expected by the end of 2012. The office will test
                  the hypothesis that increased financial capability—including financial
                  information and education and access to simple, low-cost, transaction
                  and savings products—will enhance the financial stability and well-
                  being of low- and moderate-income individuals and households.

              Federal financial literacy and housing counseling resources are spread
Conclusions   across many federal agencies, the result of both legislation and programs
              evolving to address a variety of populations or topics. While we
              uncovered no duplication, some agencies or programs do have
              overlapping goals and activities, which raises the risk of inefficiency and
              underscores the importance of coordination. The creation of CFPB adds a
              new player to the mix. The agency will play a primary federal role in
              addressing financial literacy, yet some of its responsibilities overlap with
              those of other federal agencies. Effective collaboration among agencies
              entails defining and agreeing on respective roles and responsibilities and
              organizing collective efforts. CFPB appears to be making progress thus
              far in coordinating with federal agencies that have overlapping financial
              literacy responsibilities, but ensuring clear delineation of respective roles
              and responsibilities will also be essential to ensure efficiency. Moreover,
              the creation of CFPB may signal an opportunity for reconsidering how the
              federal government’s financial literacy efforts are organized. In particular,
              some consolidation of these efforts could help ensure the most efficient
              and effective use of federal financial literacy resources. While our
              February 2012 report stated that we expected to suggest that Congress
              consider options for such consolidation, the Financial Literacy and
              Education Commission is better positioned to identify possible options
              and this would be consistent with the commission’s statutory
              responsibility to propose means of eliminating overlap and duplication
              among federal financial literacy activities.

              Overall, coordination among federal agencies with regard to financial
              literacy has improved in recent years, and the commission has played a
              critical role in this. The commission’s 2011 national strategy includes
              some elements that may be useful in guiding federal financial literacy
              efforts, but it could do more to identify the resources needed to implement
              the strategy and how federal resources might best be allocated among



              Page 37                               GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                      programs and agencies, characteristics we have found to be desirable for
                      any national strategy. The commission faces the constraints of lacking its
                      own budget or legal authority over member agencies to take any action,
                      but, even so, it has the ability to provide recommendations or guidance to
                      Congress or federal agencies. Without a clear discussion of resource
                      needs and where resources should be targeted, policymakers lack
                      information to help direct the strategy’s implementation and help ensure
                      efficient use of funds.

                      We found that nearly all significant federal financial literacy programs that
                      we reviewed had assessed or measured their activities in some manner
                      and many had undertaken some method of seeking to measure
                      outcomes. While some measured the effect on participant behavior, often
                      they assessed changes in participant knowledge or tracked output
                      measures, such as the number of consumers reached. There is only
                      limited knowledge about which federal financial literacy programs are
                      most effective in achieving the key goal of improving consumer behavior,
                      in large part because of the cost and difficulty of measuring these
                      outcomes. Rigorous outcome-based evaluation is not necessarily
                      practical or appropriate for every program, but its promotion and use,
                      where feasible, is important to help Congress and federal agencies focus
                      financial literacy resources on the most effective approaches and
                      activities. In our February 2012 report, we stated that we expected to
                      recommend that Congress consider requiring federal agencies to
                      evaluate the effectiveness of their financial literacy efforts. However, we
                      have found that the new initiatives that CFPB, Treasury, and the Financial
                      Literacy and Education Commission have under way to assess
                      effectiveness and identify best practices are positive steps in this
                      direction. As a result, based on these ongoing efforts, we no longer
                      believe that this recommendation is necessary at this time.


                      We recommend that as part of its ongoing coordination efforts, the
Recommendations for   Consumer Financial Protection Bureau take steps to help ensure clear
Executive Action      delineation of the respective roles and responsibilities between itself and
                      other federal agencies that have overlapping financial literacy
                      responsibilities.

                      To help ensure effective and efficient use of federal financial literacy
                      resources, we also recommend that the Secretary of the Treasury and the
                      Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in their capacity as
                      Chair and Vice Chair of the Financial Literacy and Education



                      Page 38                             GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                     Commission, and in concert with other agency representatives of the
                     commission:

                     •   identify for federal agencies and Congress options for consolidating
                         federal financial literacy efforts into the activities and agencies that are
                         best suited or most effective, and

                     •   revise the commission’s national strategy to incorporate clear
                         recommendations on the allocation of federal financial literacy
                         resources across programs and agencies.



                     We provided a draft of this report to the Departments of Agriculture,
Agency Comments      Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban
and Our Evaluation   Development, Labor, and the Treasury, as well as to the Board of
                     Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial
                     Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Trade
                     Commission, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of
                     Personnel Management, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the
                     Social Security Administration. We incorporated technical comments
                     provided by these agencies as appropriate. In addition, CFPB, the
                     Department of Health and Human Services, and Treasury provided
                     written responses that are reproduced in appendices III, IV, and V,
                     respectively.

                     In its response, CFPB neither agreed nor disagreed with the
                     recommendations addressed to it, but it highlighted steps that its Offices
                     of Financial Education, Servicemember Affairs, and Financial Protection
                     for Older Americans are taking to delineate roles and responsibilities,
                     improve coordination, and avoid duplication with other federal agencies.
                     CFPB also noted that it is committed to ensuring that its activities are
                     informed by data and analytics. For example, it cited a project it has
                     launched that uses rigorous quantitative methodologies to assess the
                     effectiveness of several existing financial education programs and provide
                     direction to practitioners about how to design and support effective
                     programs on improving consumers’ financial capability and confidence
                     about money.

                     Treasury said that it agreed with our recommendations to the Financial
                     Literacy and Education Commission related to identifying options for
                     consolidation and making recommendations on the allocation of federal
                     financial literacy resources. Treasury noted that the department has



                     Page 39                               GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
already begun work with other members of the commission to define
specific and measurable objectives that will help agencies assess the
impact of their financial capability activities, which will provide a
framework for any resource allocation recommendations the commission
may have.

The Department of Health and Human Services said in its response that it
disagreed that its National Education and Resource Center on Women
and Retirement Planning overlapped with the Department of Labor’s
Wi$eUp program because the two programs have differing
methodologies, approaches, and target populations. We acknowledge the
differences between the two programs in our report. However, the
definition for overlap presented in this report is “multiple agencies or
programs with similar goals and activities,” and we believe that this
accurately applies to these two programs, both of which are financial
literacy programs designed for adult women.


We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional
committees and to the heads of agencies that comprise the Financial
Literacy and Education Commission. In addition, the report will be
available at no charge on the GAO website at http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please
contact me at (202) 512-8678 or cackleya@gao.gov. Contact points for
our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found
on the last page of this report. GAO staff who made major contributions
are listed in appendix VI.




Alicia Puente Cackley
Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment




Page 40                            GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
              Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
              Methodology



Methodology

              Our objectives were to address (1) what is known about the cost of
              federal financial literacy activities; (2) the extent and consequences of
              overlap and fragmentation among financial literacy activities; (3) what the
              federal government is doing to coordinate its financial literacy activities;
              and (4) what is known about the effectiveness of federal financial literacy
              activities. For the purposes of our analysis, we considered duplication to
              occur when two or more agencies or programs are engaged in the same
              activities and provide the same services to the same beneficiaries.
              Overlap refers to when multiple agencies or programs have similar goals,
              engage in similar activities or strategies to achieve them, or target similar
              users. Fragmentation refers to circumstances in which more than one
              federal agency is involved in the same broad area of national need. Our
              report focuses largely on federal programs or activities that were relatively
              comprehensive in scope or scale and included financial literacy as a key
              component rather than a tangential goal. We generally excluded from our
              review programs or activities for which financial literacy was only a
              minimal component; that provided financial information related to the
              administration of the program itself rather than information aimed at
              increasing the beneficiaries’ financial literacy and comprehension more
              generally; that were purely internal to the agency; or that provided
              individualized financial services or advice rather than education. Using
              these criteria, we identified 16 significant financial literacy programs and 4
              significant housing counseling programs in operation in fiscal year 2010.

              To address our first objective, we collected and reviewed the President’s
              Budget for fiscal years 2010, 2012, and 2013; budget justifications, as
              needed; congressional appropriations; and other sources that included
              cost information. For many federal agencies, financial literacy activities
              were not organized as separate budget line items or cost centers. In
              these cases, we asked agency staff to estimate the portion of program
              costs that could be attributed to financial literacy activities for fiscal year
              2010, which is the year for which we reported costs. This typically
              entailed estimating the cost of that portion of staff time devoted to
              financial literacy, as well as the cost of contracts, printing, or other
              resources related to financial literacy activities. Because the methods for
              estimating costs varied, these costs may not be fully comparable across
              agencies. To assess the reliability of these estimates, we interviewed
              agency staff about their cost estimation methodology, what their estimate
              included, and what assumptions they used in making the estimate.
              Although costs may not be comparable across the agencies because
              agencies used differing methodologies, we determined that the data are
              reliable for the purposes of generally estimating federal dollars spent on
              financial literacy activities.


              Page 41                               GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
Methodology




To address our second and third objectives, we reviewed a 2009 report
by the RAND Corporation that cataloged federal financial literacy efforts;
reports from the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability; the
national strategies and supporting documents of the Financial Literacy
and Education Commission; and other reports as appropriate. We also
reviewed the commission’s MyMoney.gov website and the websites of
individual federal agencies related to financial literacy. In addition, we
reviewed federal agency strategic plans; performance and accountability
reports; budget justifications; memorandums of understanding between
agencies or with nonfederal entities; and laws related to financial literacy
activities or programs. Further, to assess the extent of overlap or
duplication, we collected and analyzed characteristics of federal financial
literacy programs and identified similarities and differences among
programs’ purposes, subject matter content, targeted populations, and
delivery methods. We assessed the commission’s 2011 National Strategy
for Financial Literacy, in part, by benchmarking it against our prior work
that identified the general characteristics of an effective national strategy. 1
Those recommended characteristics for national strategies had been
developed by reviewing several sources of information, which included
the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993; legislative and
executive branch guidance for national strategies; general literature on
strategic planning and performance; and our prior work on issues related
to planning, integration, implementation, and other related subjects.

To determine what is known about the effectiveness of federal financial
literacy activities, we collected evaluations, as well as any available
information on the outputs or outcomes of these activities. As applicable,
we reviewed output data such as information on numbers of program
participants or consumers reached, website visits, and copies of
publications or other materials distributed that were available through a
variety of sources. For example, as available, we reviewed results of
surveys of customer satisfaction, attitudes, or intention to change
behavior, and tests that measured changes in program participants’
knowledge. In addition, we reviewed information on program effect that
appeared in agencies’ strategic plans and performance and accountability
reports. We also reviewed the 2009 RAND report, which included self-
reported information from federal agencies on methods they have used to
evaluate their financial literacy programs, and we updated this information



1
GAO-04-408T and GAO-07-100.




Page 42                               GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
Methodology




as necessary through interviews with agency staff. In addition, we
collected any available studies and evaluations that had been conducted
on the outcomes of federal financial literacy activities, which included
evaluations conducted by the agencies themselves or by external
researchers. Each of the studies and evaluations cited in our report was
reviewed for methodological reliability and determined to be sufficiently
reliable for our purposes.

Finally, to address all four of our objectives, we interviewed staff who
address financial literacy issues at 17 federal agencies that we had
identified in prior work as potentially having significant involvement in
financial literacy—the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System; Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Departments of
Agriculture, Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing
and Urban Development, Labor, and Treasury; Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation; Federal Trade Commission; Internal Revenue Service;
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Office of Personnel
Management; Securities and Exchange Commission; Social Security
Administration; and the U.S. Mint. We also interviewed staff at
NeighborWorks America (a federally chartered nonprofit corporation) and
representatives of the National Financial Education Network of State and
Local Governments, the President’s Advisory Council on Financial
Capability, and two nonprofit organizations, the American Savings
Education Council and the National Endowment for Financial Education.

We conducted this performance audit from May 2011 to July 2012 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our audit objectives.




Page 43                              GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix II: Crosswalk between Federal
               Appendix II: Crosswalk between Federal
               Financial Literacy Programs Identified in the
               RAND Report and Programs Selected for

Financial Literacy Programs Identified in the
               Inclusion in this Report



RAND Report and Programs Selected for
Inclusion in this Report
               In 2009, the Departments of the Treasury and Education asked federal
               agencies to self-identify their financial literacy efforts, which resulted in a
               2009 report by the RAND Corporation that identified 56 federal financial
               literacy programs among 20 agencies. 1 We reported these results in a
               2011 report, but our subsequent analysis of these 56 programs found a
               high degree of inconsistency in how different agencies defined financial
               literacy programs or efforts and whether they counted related efforts as
               one or multiple programs. 2 For the purposes of our current report, we
               developed criteria for identifying significant federal financial literacy and
               housing counseling activities and programs. We defined such activities or
               programs as those that were relatively comprehensive in scope or scale
               and for which financial literacy or housing counseling was a key objective
               rather than a tangential goal. As appropriate, we defined a related set of
               activities (such as a series of webpages from one agency) as a single
               program. In addition, we excluded programs or activities (1) for which
               financial literacy was only a minimal component; (2) that provided
               financial information related to the administration of the program itself
               rather that information aimed at increasing the beneficiaries’ financial
               literacy and comprehension more generally; (3) that were purely internal
               to the agency, such as information provided to agency employees on their
               employment and retirement benefits; and (4) that represented
               individualized services or advice. We included as federal programs those
               of NeighborWorks America, a government-chartered, nonprofit
               corporation that receives federal funding for housing counseling, including
               through an annual appropriation from Congress. Finally, the RAND report
               was based on programs and activities in place in 2009, while our list
               reflects programs and activities in place during fiscal year 2010.




               1
                Angela A. Hung, Kata Mihaly, and Joanne K. Yoong (RAND Corporation), “Federal
               Financial and Economic Literacy Education Programs, 2009” (Santa Monica, Calif.: 2010).
               http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/2010/RAND_TR857.pdf.
               2
                GAO-11-318SP.




               Page 44                                         GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
                                        Appendix II: Crosswalk between Federal
                                        Financial Literacy Programs Identified in the
                                        RAND Report and Programs Selected for
                                        Inclusion in this Report




Figure 1: Crosswalk between Federal Financial Literacy Programs Identified in the RAND Report and Programs Selected for
Inclusion in This Report (GAO-12-588)




                                        Page 45                                         GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix II: Crosswalk between Federal
Financial Literacy Programs Identified in the
RAND Report and Programs Selected for
Inclusion in this Report




Page 46                                         GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix II: Crosswalk between Federal
Financial Literacy Programs Identified in the
RAND Report and Programs Selected for
Inclusion in this Report




Page 47                                         GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix III: Comments from the Consumer
             Appendix III: Comments from the Consumer
             Financial Protection Bureau



Financial Protection Bureau




             Page 48                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix III: Comments from the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau




Page 49                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix III: Comments from the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau




Page 50                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix IV: Comments from the
             Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
             of Health and Human Services



Department of Health and Human Services




             Page 51                                 GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Health and Human Services




Page 52                                 GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Health and Human Services




Page 53                                 GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix V: Comments from the Department
             Appendix V: Comments from the Department
             of the Treasury



of the Treasury




             Page 54                                    GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
Appendix VI: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Appendix VI: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  Alicia Puente Cackley, 202-512-8678 or cackleya@gao.gov
GAO Contact
                  In addition to the contact named above, Jason Bromberg (Assistant
Staff             Director), Kimberly Cutright, Mary Coyle, Jonathan Kucskar, Roberto
Acknowledgments   Piñero, Rhonda Rose, Jennifer Schwartz, and Andrew Stavisky made key
                  contributions to this report.




(250607)
                  Page 55                              GAO-12-588 Federal Financial Literacy Programs
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