oversight

Telecommunications Technology: Federal Funding for Schools and Libraries

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-08-20.

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

                  United States General Accounting Office

GAO               Report to the Chairman, Committee on
                  Commerce, and the Chairman,
                  Committee on Education and the
                  Workforce, House of Representatives

August 1999
                  TELECOMMUNICATIONS
                  TECHNOLOGY
                  Federal Funding for
                  Schools and Libraries




GAO/HEHS-99-133
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Health, Education, and
      Human Services Division

      B-281492

      August 20, 1999

      The Honorable Tom Bliley
      Chairman, Committee on Commerce
      House of Representatives

      The Honorable William F. Goodling
      Chairman, Committee on Education
        and the Workforce
      House of Representatives

      The nation’s schools and libraries face a large bill for acquiring
      telecommunications and information technology. A 1996 study by the
      RAND Corporation estimated that providing a “technology-rich” learning
      environment in every school would cost $10 billion to $20 billion per year.1
      Another organization has estimated that U.S. schools are already spending
      more than $5 billion a year on such efforts.2 In recent years, the Congress
      has provided increasing support, through a number of programs, for
      school and library efforts to acquire information technology, including
      computer hardware and software, wiring, Internet access, and teacher
      training. As the number of federal programs providing such aid has risen,
      questions have been raised about the potential for duplication, which can
      waste scarce funds, confuse and frustrate program customers, and limit
      overall program effectiveness.

      You asked that we review federally created or facilitated programs for
      helping schools and libraries with their telecommunications and
      information technology efforts. In September 1998, we testified before
      your Committees on the work we had conducted up to that time.3 As
      agreed with your offices, we have continued our work to compile a more
      complete response. The specific questions you asked us to address are
      shown in table 1. We are presenting brief answers to these questions in the
      body of this report and more detail in the appendixes.




      1
      Thomas K. Glennan and Arthur Melmed, Fostering the Use of Educational Technology: Elements of a
      National Strategy (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, 1996).
      2
       Quality Education Data, 1997-98 Technology Purchasing Forecast (Denver, Colo.: 1997).
      3
       Telecommunications and Information Technology: Federal Programs That Can Be Used to Fund
      Technology for Schools and Libraries (GAO/T-HEHS-98-246, Sept. 16, 1998).



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Table 1: Research Questions
Addressed in This Report      Topic                              Specific question
                              Program characteristics            What are the characteristics of each program created or
                                                                 facilitated by the federal government that can be used to
                                                                 provide federal and private (such as the E-ratea program)
                                                                 funding for public and private K - 12 schools and libraries
                                                                 for telecommunications services, internal connections,
                                                                 information services, computer hardware, computer
                                                                 software, other related technologies, and teacher training,
                                                                 including

                                                                 —the administrative costs, measured in dollars and as a
                                                                 percentage of overall program funding for fiscal year
                                                                 1998 (where available by program at the federal level);
                                                                 —the number of federal and nonfederal full-time
                                                                 equivalents (FTE) allocated to each program by function;
                                                                 —the procedures that are used to award funds;
                                                                 —the total funding available for fiscal years 1996, 1997,
                                                                 and 1998; and
                                                                 —the actual funding levels for technology for fiscal years
                                                                 1996, 1997, and 1998?
                              Potential for duplication          What is the potential for duplication of programs for K - 12
                                                                 schools and libraries as seen in the targeted activities
                                                                 and recipients of each program?
                              Coordination efforts               What efforts have been made to coordinate federal
                                                                 education and technology programs? Specifically,

                                                                 —What are the missions, activities, and staffing levels of
                                                                 the Department of Education (Education) Office of
                                                                 Educational Technology (OET) and the White House
                                                                 Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)?
                                                                 —What efforts are being made by these offices to
                                                                 coordinate federal education and technology programs?
                                                                 —How can the Government Performance and Results Act
                                                                 (the Results Act) be used to coordinate and reduce
                                                                 duplication in these programs?
                              Available information on           What information, if any, is available about each
                              fraud, waste, and abuse            program’s potential problems regarding fraud, waste,
                                                                 abuse, and efforts to eliminate the problems?
                              a
                               The Federal Communications Commission’s universal service fund—known as the
                              E-rate—provides discounts of 20 to 90 percent on telecommunications services, Internet access,
                              and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries. The program is funded by mandatory
                              contributions from interstate telecommunications and other service providers. The first discounts
                              were funded for the 18-month period beginning January 1998.




                              Policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels have increasingly
Background                    recognized that technology is becoming a central component of many jobs,
                              changing the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the
                              workplace. The concern about the academic competitiveness of U.S.



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                       students, coupled with these changes in needed work skills, has
                       heightened interest in integrating technology into the elementary and
                       secondary curriculum in an effort to address both sets of needs. Schools
                       have used a variety of funding sources to establish and support their
                       technology programs. Some rely on state funding, while others use local
                       tax moneys. Some private funding is also available, and federal funding
                       sources also play a role in supporting technology. Our 1998 report on five
                       school districts found that each used a combination of sources to fund its
                       technology program.4

                       In our previous work we determined that multiple federal agencies
                       provide funds that schools or libraries can use to obtain technology. When
                       more than one federal agency is involved in the same broad area of
                       national need, this is referred to as mission fragmentation. While mission
                       fragmentation and program overlap are relatively straightforward to
                       identify, determining whether overlapping programs are actually
                       duplicative requires an analysis of program goals, the means to achieve
                       them, and the targeted recipients. This kind of analysis is consistent with
                       the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993.5


                       To respond to your request, we examined four areas, with the following
Results in Brief       results:

                   •   Program characteristics. We identified 35 federal programs in 8 agencies
                       that could be used as a source of support for telecommunications and
                       information technology by libraries or elementary and secondary schools
                       in fiscal year 1998. Ten programs specifically targeted technology, while
                       the remaining 25 included technology as one of many possible uses of
                       funds. The 10 technology-targeted programs provided about $650 million
                       in fiscal year 1998 and about $1.7 billion in discounts from the universal
                       service fund for January 1998 to June 1999; in 1997, they provided about
                       $343 million; in 1996, about $102 million.6 For the 25 programs not
                       primarily targeted to technology, expenditures for technology cannot be
                       precisely determined because programs do not track how much they
                       spend specifically for technology, according to program officials.


                       4
                        School Technology: Five School Districts’ Experiences in Funding Technology Programs
                       (GAO/HEHS-98-35, Jan. 29, 1998).
                       5
                        Managing for Results: Using the Results Act to Address Mission Fragmentation and Program Overlap
                       (GAO/AIMD-97-146, Aug. 29,1997); and Managing for Results: An Agenda to Improve the Usefulness of
                       Agencies’ Annual Performance Plans (GAO/GGD/AIMD-98-228, Sept. 8, 1998).
                       6
                        Nine of these programs were operating in 1997, eight in 1996.



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    However, 9 of the 25 programs not targeted to technology were able to
    provide estimates totaling about $108 million for technology in 1998. In
    addition to the nine programs that provided estimates, a recent report on
    Education’s Title I program estimates that in 1997, about $240 million of
    the $7.3 billion in Title I funding was spent on technology.7 Also, in
    previous work we estimated that for Education’s Goals 2000 program in
    1997, about $43 million of nearly $471 million was spent on technology.8
    With respect to funding award procedures, 22 programs use a competitive
    process, while 12 distribute funding on the basis of formulas and 1
    program uses both methods.9 Estimates of administrative expenses for the
    35 programs in fiscal year 1998 ranged from less than 1 percent to
    15 percent and estimates of the number of federal and nonfederal FTE
    positions established to administer the programs ranged from less than 1
    to nearly 200,10 depending on the program. Because program
    characteristics differ, administrative costs could vary significantly across
    programs. For example, programs that distribute funding through a
    competitive process may have proportionately higher administrative costs
    than those that distribute funding through a formula because they must
    carry out a grant proposal selection process that may include outside
    reviewers to read and score grant applications. Appendix I presents more
    detailed information on these program characteristics.
•   Potential for duplication. Funding aimed at enhancing
    telecommunications and information technology in schools and libraries
    can be delivered through 35 separate federal programs administered by 8
    different agencies. While multiple agencies have responsibilities for
    managing programs in this area, based on our review, we did not identify
    instances where two individual programs were providing identical services
    to identical populations—that is, had the same goals, the same activities or
    strategies to achieve them, and the same targeted recipients. Programs
    typically shared some characteristics and differed in others. An example of
    two programs that share similar strategies—distance learning
    technologies—but differ in their goals and targeted recipients is

    7
    U.S. Department of Education, Promising Results, Continuing Challenges: The Final Report of the
    National Assessment of Title I (1999).
    8
    Goals 2000: Flexible Funding Supports State and Local Education Reform (GAO/HEHS-99-10,
    Nov. 1998).
    9
     The Institute of Museum and Library Service’s Native American Library Services Grants program
    provides competitive grant funding through its Enhancement grants and formula grant funding through
    its Basic Library Services and Technical Assistance grants.
    10
     The Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company contracts for
    customer support and application processing for the E-rate. The contractor reported that it used 199.6
    FTEs in fiscal year 1998.




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    Education’s Star Schools and the Department of Agriculture’s Distance
    Learning and Telemedicine grants. The Star Schools program’s goal is to
    improve instruction for elementary and secondary students in underserved
    areas. In contrast, Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants are intended
    to enhance health care and learning opportunities for all individuals living
    in rural areas. Our analysis of the potential for duplication among the 35
    programs relied on agency program documents and interviews with
    agency officials—we did not examine the implementation of each program
    or individual grantee awards. Appendix II provides a more detailed
    discussion of our comparisons of the programs and the factors that affect
    the potential for duplication.
•   Coordination efforts. While focusing their efforts in different ways, both
    Education’s OET and the White House OSTP have worked to coordinate
    federal education technology programs. OET’s mission is to create policy
    and provide oversight for technology issues within Education and to
    participate in coordination activities and policy initiatives associated with
    education technology across the federal government and within the
    education community. For example, OET worked with the American
    Institutes for Research and the states to develop an educator’s guide for
    evaluating the use of technology in schools and classrooms. In contrast,
    OSTP focuses on broad national science and technology goals, and
    facilitates the development and implementation of federal policies
    associated with these goals, including coordinating interagency efforts to
    develop and implement technology policies, programs, and budgets. For
    example, OSTP was involved in discussions with Education officials when
    the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund was being developed. Once the
    legislation was passed, implementation of the program and coordination
    with other involved parties were the responsibilities of Education and OSTP
    was no longer involved with the program on a day-to-day basis, according
    to an OSTP associate director. In addition, the Results Act can be used to
    coordinate technology efforts and reduce duplication by providing the
    structure needed to study programs’ goals, the activities and strategies
    used to achieve them, and their targeted recipients. Appendix III provides
    more detail on the coordination efforts of these two offices.
•   Available information on fraud, waste, and abuse. Reports from
    agency offices of the inspector general (OIG) are one source of information
    on potential problems of fraud, waste, and abuse. Based on our review of
    17 of these reports, we did not identify information that indicates that
    fraud, waste, and abuse are systemic or widespread problems. However,
    some reports contain examples of such problems for individual grantees.
    Ten of the 17 reports concerned Commerce’s Telecommunications and
    Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP). However, officials



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              from the Department of Commerce’s OIG recently testified before the
              Congress that these audits did not identify any major or systemic
              problems. Of the remaining seven reports, only two had significant
              findings regarding questioned costs or unapproved spending. Each of
              these two reports addresses an individual grant project—an Education Star
              Schools grant and a Commerce Public Telecommunications Facilities
              Program grant. Both agencies report taking actions to protect against such
              problems occurring in the future. Appendix IV presents—for each of the
              17 reports—more detailed information on the findings, recommendations,
              and agency efforts to eliminate problems.


              To identify programs, we reviewed the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Scope and     Assistance (CFDA),11 Education documents, Congressional Research
Methodology   Service publications, and our previous work. To obtain more detailed
              information about the characteristics of each program, we conducted
              interviews with program officials and reviewed pertinent documents such
              as program application packages, regulations, and budget information. We
              did not independently verify the information we obtained from officials on
              administrative costs, numbers of FTEs, and the percentage of funding used
              for technology, and we have not used that information as support for
              findings or recommendations in this report. To assess the potential for
              duplication among the programs, we developed a framework based on
              standards set out in the Results Act and used it to analyze data we had
              gathered on program goals, activities, and targeted recipients. We limited
              our analysis to information provided in agency documents and by agency
              officials and did not examine the implementation of each program or
              individual grantees. To determine existing efforts to coordinate funding
              sources across program and agency lines, we conducted interviews with
              officials from Education’s OET and the White House OSTP and reviewed
              agency documents including reports and performance plans. To identify
              available information on potential fraud, waste, and abuse and efforts to
              eliminate them, we interviewed program officials and officials from
              agencies’ OIGs and reviewed OIG audit and investigations reports and
              semiannual reports to the Congress. We included reports and studies
              issued from October 1995 to March 1999. Additionally, we held discussions
              with Education officials in the Offices of the General Council and the
              Chief Financial Officer; we did not examine individual grantees. We


              11
                The CFDA is a governmentwide compendium of federal programs, projects, services, and activities
              that provide assistance and benefits. Coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and
              compiled by the General Services Administration, the CFDA contains information, both financial and
              nonfinancial, about programs administered by federal departments and agencies.



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                  conducted our work from August 1998 to May 1999 in accordance with
                  generally accepted government auditing standards.


                  We provided a draft of this report to Education, Commerce, and the
Agency Comments   Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We provided relevant
                  portions of the draft report to Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health
                  (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Institute of Museum and
                  Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH),
                  and the White House OSTP.

                  In its comments, Education suggested that we expand our discussion
                  about mission fragmentation to capture broader program design issues. It
                  pointed out that, in previous GAO work on the Results Act, we have said
                  that multiple programs providing the same or similar services can be
                  beneficial if it occurs by design as part of a management strategy. While
                  we focus our discussion in this report on duplication of program goals,
                  activities, and targeted recipients, a more detailed discussion about
                  duplication in general can be found in Managing for Results: Using the
                  Results Act to Address Mission Fragmentation and Program Overlap
                  (GAO/AIMD-97-146, Aug. 29, 1997). Education also expressed concerns about
                  our discussion of OSTP, Education, and NSF and their roles in the
                  Interagency Education Research Initiative. It said that readers could get
                  the impression that the interaction between NSF and Education is new and
                  that NSF has not been willing to provide such information. We revised the
                  wording for clarification.

                  Commerce, Agriculture, and NEH expressed concerns about the potential
                  for misinterpretation of administrative cost information. Commerce said
                  that comparison of administrative costs across programs is unfair and
                  would not be meaningful because (1) program administrative costs are
                  dependent upon the nature of the program and (2) the range of activities
                  included under administrative costs varies from program to program. To
                  address these concerns, we revised the report to alert the reader that
                  differences in program characteristics can cause differences in
                  administrative costs. Commerce also expressed concerns that our
                  reporting on the number of reports dealing with fraud, waste, and abuse
                  was potentially misleading because Commerce’s OIG issued a report for
                  each grant audited while other agencies’ OIGs issued reports that combine
                  audits of multiple grants. Commerce pointed out that the 10 reports on a
                  single Commerce program were not comparable to the 7 reports on other
                  programs. We did not base our conclusions on the number of reports. We



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focused instead on whether the reports had identified major or systemic
problems. In addition, we stated that Commerce OIG officials had reported
that none of the studies identified major or systemic problems. NEH
emphasized that their programs do not provide funding to acquire
information technology per se, but rather to support projects and
programs that help teachers access and use humanities materials in digital
form. However, we included in our list of programs that can fund
technology those that train teachers to integrate technology into the
school curriculum. Comments from the Departments of Agriculture,
Commerce, and Education and the National Endowment for the
Humanities appear in appendixes V through VIII.

The FCC, OSTP, IMLS, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, and NEH provided
technical comments, which we addressed as appropriate. NIH and NSF did
not provide comments on the report.


We are sending copies of this report to the Honorable Richard W. Riley,
Secretary of Education, and the heads of the other agencies responsible
for information technology programs. We will also make copies available
to others upon request.

If you have any questions regarding this report, please contact me on
(202) 512-7014 or Nancy Purvine on (206) 287-4800. Other contributors to
this report are Lise Levie, Susan Lawless, and Stan Stenersen.




Marnie S. Shaul
Associate Director, Education, Workforce, and
  Income Security Issues




Page 8                    GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Page 9   GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Contents



Letter                                                                                               1


Appendix I                                                                                          14
                        Characteristics for 35 Programs That Can Fund Technology                    14
Program
Characteristics
Appendix II                                                                                         31
                        Potential for Duplication Is Limited                                        31
Potential for
Duplication
Appendix III                                                                                        46
                        Missions, Activities, and Staffing of the OET and the White House           46
Coordination Efforts      OSTP
                        Both Offices Play a Role in Coordinating Federal Technology                 48
                          Programs
                        OET                                                                         48
                        OSTP                                                                        49
                        The Results Act Provides a Framework for Coordinating and                   50
                          Reducing Duplication Among Federal Technology Programs

Appendix IV                                                                                         51
                        No Evidence in OIG Reports of Systemic or Widespread                        51
Information Available     Problems
on Potential Problems
of Fraud, Waste, and
Abuse
Appendix V                                                                                          62

Comments From the
Department of
Agriculture




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                     Contents




Appendix VI                                                                                     64

Comments From the
Department of
Commerce
Appendix VII                                                                                    68

Comments From the
Department of
Education
Appendix VIII                                                                                   70

Comments From the
National Endowment
for the Humanities
Tables               Table 1: Research Questions Addressed in This Report                        2
                     Table I.1: Fiscal Year 1998 Administrative Cost Estimates by               15
                       Program for Programs That Could Fund Technology for Schools
                       or Libraries
                     Table I.2: Federal Full-Time-Equivalent Staff by Program–1998              18
                       Estimates
                     Table I.3: Processes for Awarding Funding                                  22
                     Table I.4: Program Funding and Estimates of Amounts and                    24
                       Percentages for Technology, FY 1996-98
                     Table II.1: Matrix for Grouping Programs That Can Be Used for              31
                       Technology
                     Table II.2: Programs That Target Technology for Schools or                 33
                       Libraries
                     Table II.3: Programs That Target Schools or Libraries but Do Not           36
                       Target Technology
                     Table II.4: Programs That Target Technology but Do Not Target              43
                       Schools or Libraries
                     Table II.5: Programs That Do Not Target Schools or Libraries or            45
                       Technology
                     Table IV.1: Reports Identified                                             52




                     Page 11                  GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Contents




Abbreviations

AIR        American Institutes for Research
CFDA       Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
FCC        Federal Communications Commission
FTE        full-time equivalent
IERI       Interagency Education Research Initiative
IMLS       Institute of Museum and Library Services
LEA        local education agency
NEH        National Endowment for the Humanities
NIH        National Institutes of Health
NSF        National Science Foundation
NTIA       National Telecommunications and Information
                 Administration
NSTC       National Science and Technology Council
OBEMLA     Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs
OEAM       Department of Commerce Office of Executive Assistance
                 Management
OET        Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology
OIG        Office of the Inspector General
OMB        Office of Management and Budget
OSTP       White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
PTFP       Public Telecommunications Facilities Program
SEA        state education agency
SLD        Schools and Libraries Division
TIIAP      Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure
                 Assistance Program
USAC       Universal Service Administrative Company


Page 12                  GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Page 13   GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix I

Program Characteristics


                             What are the characteristics of each program created or facilitated by the
                             federal government that can be used to provide federal and private (such
                             as the E-rate program) funding for public and private K - 12 schools and
                             libraries for telecommunications services, internal connections,
                             information services, computer hardware, computer software, other
                             related technologies, and teacher training, including

                         •   the administrative costs, measured in dollars and as a percentage of
                             overall program funding for fiscal year 1998 (where available by
                             program at the federal level);
                         •   the number of federal and nonfederal FTEs allocated to each program by
                             function;
                         •   the procedures that are used to award funds;
                         •   the total funding available for fiscal years 1996, 1997, and 1998; and
                         •   the actual funding levels for technology for fiscal years 1996, 1997, and
                             1998?


                             Table I.1 shows, for fiscal year 1998, the estimated program administrative
Characteristics for 35       costs, the estimated federal administrative costs as a percentage of total
Programs That Can            program costs,12 and total program funding. Administrative costs may vary
Fund Technology              among programs because some distribute funding through a competitive
                             process and some through a formula. The competitive grant process
                             involves reviewing and scoring grant applications as part of selection
                             procedures, while the formula grant process does not. Additionally, the
                             cost of this review process can vary widely for a number of reasons. The
                             number of grant applications to be reviewed varied among the programs in
                             our study and, while most competitive grant programs hired outside
                             experts to perform this task, one program used volunteers and one used
                             only agency staff. Further, the Department of Education considered the
                             cost of these reviewers a program expense and other agencies considered
                             reviewers an administrative expense.

                             Table I.2 shows estimates of the total number of federal
                             full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff for each program, the number of FTEs
                             assigned to technology activities, the portion of total FTEs allocated to
                             implementing and awarding grants, and the portion allocated to oversight.
                             Table I.2 also shows estimates of the portion of total FTEs that are
                             professional staff and the portion that are support staff. Regarding
                             nonfederal or contract FTEs, just three programs reported contracting for

                             12
                               We define total program costs as program funding plus program administrative costs, which could
                             either come from the program funds or the department’s administrative budget.



                             Page 14                            GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                              Appendix I
                                              Program Characteristics




                                              activities in addition to hiring grant readers during the competitive grant
                                              selection process. The Universal Service Administrative Company13 (USAC)
                                              contracts for E-rate customer support and application processing (199.6
                                              FTEs). The Department of Commerce’s Telecommunications and
                                              Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) and Public
                                              Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) contract for data system
                                              redesign, professional consultants, and temporary administrative support,
                                              but do not track the number of FTEs under these contracts. In addition,
                                              USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) employs about 15 FTEs for a
                                              variety of activities associated with E-rate administration including
                                              outreach and education, office management, and technology planning.

                                              Table I.3 shows which programs award funding through a competitive
                                              process and which award funding using a formula. Table I.4 shows
                                              program funding, estimates of the amount spent on technology, and the
                                              estimated percentage of program funding spent on technology for fiscal
                                              years 1996 through 1998.


Table I.1: Fiscal Year 1998 Administrative Cost Estimates by Program for Programs That Could Fund Technology for
Schools or Libraries
                                              1998 estimated program       Federal administrative
                                             administrative costsa (in   costs as a percentage of 1998 program fundingc (in
                                                                                                b
Programs                                         thousands  of dollars)      total program costs      thousands of dollars)
Programs that target technology
  Department of Education
Special Education Technology and Media                                  $786                                 2.3                           $34,023
 Services for Individuals With Disabilities
Star Schools                                                            1,175                                3.3                             34,000
Technology Innovation Challenge Grants                                    740                                0.7                           106,000
Technology Literacy Challenge Fund                                         71                              <0.1                            425,000
  Department of Agriculture
Distance Learning and Telemedicine                                      2,010                               13.9                             12,500
  Grants
                                                                                                                                       (continued)




                                              13
                                                USAC is a private, not-for-profit organization that administers the universal service fund for the
                                              Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The universal service fund was established to provide
                                              residential customers with affordable access to basic telephone service.



                                              Page 15                             GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                           Appendix I
                                           Program Characteristics




                                             1998 estimated program          Federal administrative
                                            administrative costsa (in      costs as a percentage of     1998 program fundingc (in
Programs                                       thousands of dollars)           total program costsb         thousands of dollars)
  Department of Commerce
Public Telecommunications Facilities                              1,823                         8.4                          21,767
  Program                                         (included in program
                                                                funding)
Telecommunications and Information                                3,271                        15.0                          21,782
  Infrastructure Assistance Program               (included in program
                                                                funding)
  Federal Communications Commission
Universal Service Discount for Schools                          26,909e                         2.4f      1,108,982f in discounts for
 and Libraries (E-rate)d                                                                               the 12 mos. beginning 1/1/98
  National Institutes of Health
Information Systems and Grants                                        97                        5.9                            1,550
  National Science Foundation
Connections to the Internet                                           4                         2.6                              147
Programs that do not target technology
  Department of Education
Alaska Native Student Enrichment Program                              35                        3.7                              905
Bilingual Education Capacity and                                 1,996                          1.2                         160,000
  Demonstration Grants
Emergency Immigrant Education                                         25                       0.02                         150,000
 Assistance Program
Foreign Language Assistance                                          102                        2.0                            5,000
Eisenhower Professional Development                                  752                        3.1                          23,300
  Federal Activities
Eisenhower Professional Development                              1,788                          0.5                         335,000
  State Grants
Fund for the Improvement of Education                                588                        0.5                         108,100
Goals 2000 State and Local Education                             1,590                          0.3                         466,000
 Systemic Improvement Grants
Javits Gifted and Talented Students                                  364                        5.3                            6,500
  Education Program
Innovative Education Program Strategies                          1,265                          0.4                         350,000
Migrant Education Basic State Grant                              1,958                          0.7                         299,475
 Program
Migrant Education Coordination Program                                31                        0.5                            5,998
Magnet Schools Assistance                                        1,422                          1.4                         101,000
Perkins Act Tech-Prep Education                                      158                        0.2                         103,000
Perkins Act Vocational Education Basic                           5,292                          0.5                       1,009,852
  Grants to States
Perkins Act Vocational Education Indians                             315                        2.4                          13,013
  Set-Aside
                                                                                                                         (continued)


                                           Page 16                         GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                             Appendix I
                                             Program Characteristics




                                                   1998 estimated program              Federal administrative
                                                  administrative costsa (in          costs as a percentage of       1998 program fundingc (in
Programs                                             thousands of dollars)               total program costsb           thousands of dollars)
Special Education Grants to States                                        6,913                              0.2                        3,807,700
Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies                                7,028                              0.1                        7,375,232
Twenty-first Century Community Learning                                     353                              0.9                            40,000
 Centers
Women’s Educational Equity Act Program                                      167                              5.3                             3,000
  Institute of Museum and Library Services
National Leadership Grants                                                2,805g                              2g                             5,488
                                                                                 g                             g
Native American and Native Hawaiian                                                                                                          2,561
 Library Services Grants
                                                                                 g                             g
State Grants                                                                                                                              135,486
  National Endowment for the Humanities
Promotion of the Humanities Education,                                      655                             12.4                             4,649
  Development, and Demonstration Grants
Promotion of the Humanities Summer                                          617                              9.2                             6,107
  Seminars and Institutes

                                             a
                                              Administrative costs are in addition to program funding except where noted. In those cases,
                                             administrative costs are included in program funding.
                                             b
                                              Administrative cost as a percentage of total program costs is calculated by dividing the 1998
                                             administrative costs by the sum of 1998 program funding plus 1998 administrative costs, except
                                             for programs that pay administrative costs out of program funds. In those cases, administrative
                                             cost as a percentage of program funding is calculated by dividing the 1998 administrative cost
                                             by the 1998 program funding.
                                             c
                                              Program funding includes all funding available as grants and includes—but may not be limited
                                             to—funds spent on technology.
                                             d
                                                 The E-rate is a discount; no direct funding is involved.
                                             e
                                             This includes both FCC and SLD administrative costs.
                                             f
                                              The E-rate was funded for the 18-month period from January 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999, and
                                             the administrative costs are for the 12-month period from January 1, 1998, through December 31,
                                             1998. In order to calculate administrative costs as a percentage of total program costs on an
                                             annual basis, the 18-month figure of $1.66 billion was reduced by one-third to $1.1 billion. Even
                                             though funding commitments were not made until late 1998 and early 1999, applicants are being
                                             reimbursed the discounted portion of bills they paid in full as early as January 1998. Therefore,
                                             the one-third reduction is a reasonably accurate estimate. The administrative costs in 1998
                                             included substantial startup costs for system development and a procedure design audit.
                                             g
                                              Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) officials said they could not break out individual
                                             programs’ administrative costs. The total estimated administrative cost for all three programs is
                                             $2,805,000. The administrative cost as a percentage of total costs was calculated using the total
                                             funding for all three IMLS programs.




                                             Page 17                                 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                          Appendix I
                                          Program Characteristics




Table I.2: Federal Full-Time-Equivalent Staff by Program–1998 Estimates
                                                                      Federal FTEs
                                                               Allocated to
                                              Assigned to implementing and Allocated to                             Support
Programs                          Total        technology   awarding grants   oversight        Professional        (clerical)
Programs that target technology
  Department of Education
                                                                             a             a
Special Education                     8                   8                                               7                1
 Technology and Media
 Services for Individuals
 With Disabilities
                                                                             a             a               a                a
Star Schools                         10                  10
                                                                             a             a
Technology Innovation                 6                   6                                               5                1
  Challenge Grants
                                                                             a             a
Technology Literacy                   1                   1                                               1                0
  Challenge Fund
  Department of Agriculture
Distance Learning and                12                  12                 5             7              10                2
  Telemedicine Grants
  Department of Commerce
Public                               12                  12               7.5           4.5               9                3
  Telecommunications
  Facilities Programb
Telecommunications and               24                  24              15.5           8.5              21                3
  Information Infrastructure
  Assistance Programb
  Federal Communications Commission
Universal Service                     2                   0                 0             2               2                0
 Discount for Schools and
 Libraries (E-rate) b,c
  National Institutes of Health
Information Systems and               1                   1               0.5           0.5             0.8              0.2
  Access Grants
  National Science Foundation
                                                                             a             a
Connections to the                  0.1                 0.1                                             0.1                0
 Internet
Programs that do not target technology
  Department of Education
                                                                             a             a
Alaska Native Student               0.3                   0                                             0.3                0
  Enrichment Program
                                                                             a             a
Bilingual Education                  20                   0                                              18                2
  Capacity and
  Demonstration Grants
                                                                                                                 (continued)




                                          Page 18                      GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                      Appendix I
                                      Program Characteristics




                                                                Federal FTEs
                                                           Allocated to
                                          Assigned to implementing and Allocated to                           Support
Programs                      Total        technology   awarding grants   oversight      Professional        (clerical)
                                                                        a            a
Emergency Immigrant             0.3                   0                                           0.3                0
 Education Assistance
 Program
                                                                        a            a
Foreign Language                 1                    0                                             1                0
  Assistance
                                                                        a            a               a                a
Eisenhower Professional          6                    0
  Development Federal
  Activities
                                                                        a            a
Eisenhower Professional         17                    0                                            15                2
  Development State Grants
                                                                        a            a               a                a
Fund for the Improvement         5                    0
  of Education
                                                                        a            a
Goals 2000 State and            15                    6                                            12                3
 Local Education Systemic
 Improvement Grants
                                                                        a            a
Javits Gifted and Talented       3                    0                                             3                0
  Students Education
  Program
                                                                        a            a
Innovative Education            12                    0                                            10                2
  Program Strategies
                                                                        a            a
Migrant Education Basic         19                    0                                            17                2
 State Grant Program
                                                                        a            a
Migrant Education               0.3                   0                                           0.3                0
 Coordination Program
                                                                        a            a
Magnet Schools                  14                    0                                            13                1
 Assistance
                                                                        a            a
Perkins Act Tech-Prep            2                    2                                             2                0
  Education
                                                                        a            a
Perkins Act Vocational          50                    0                                            40               10
  Education Basic Grants to
  States
                                                                        a            a
Perkins Act Vocational           3                    0                                             3                0
  Education Indians
  Set-Aside
                                                                        a            a
Special Education Grants        66                    0                                            58                8
 to States
                                                                        a            a
Title I Grants to Local         67                    0                                            58                9
  Education Agencies
                                                                        a            a
Twenty-First Century             3                    0                                             3                0
 Community Learning
 Centers
                                                                        a            a
Women’s Educational              2                    0                                             2                0
 Equity Act Program
                                                                                                           (continued)



                                      Page 19                    GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                          Appendix I
                                          Program Characteristics




                                                                                Federal FTEs
                                                                   Allocated to
                                                  Assigned to implementing and Allocated to                                             Support
Programs                          Total            technology   awarding grants   oversight                  Professional              (clerical)
  Institute of Museum and Library Services
National Leadership                 3.6                        0                     2.6               1                 3.4                    0.2
 Grants
Native American and                 3.2                        0                     0.7            2.5                    3                    0.2
 Native Hawaiian Library
 Services Grants
State Grants                        4.9                        0                     0.9               4                 4.9                     0
  National Endowment for the Humanities
Promotion of the                      7                        0                       7               0                   7                     0
  Humanities Education,
  Development, and
  Demonstration Grants
Promotion of the                      7                        0                       7               0                   7                     0
  Humanities Seminars and
  Institutes

                                          a
                                             This information is not tracked.
                                          b
                                           Three programs reported contracting for activities in addition to grant readers for competitive
                                          awards. The USAC awarded contracts for E-rate customer support and application processing
                                          (199.6 FTEs); the TIIAP and the PTFP contract for data system redesign, professional consultants,
                                          and temporary administrative support, but do not track the number of FTEs under these contracts.
                                          c
                                           USAC’s SLD employs about 15 FTEs for a variety of activities associated with E-rate
                                          administration including outreach and education, office management, and technology planning.
                                          The USAC is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for providing states and territories
                                          with access to affordable telecommunications services through the universal service fund.




                                          Page 20                                GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                         Appendix I
                         Program Characteristics




Processes for Awarding   Funding is awarded through one of two processes.
Funding
                         The competitive grant process typically begins with an announcement in
                         the Federal Register. Most programs also post information and application
                         packages on their Web sites and mail information to potential applicants.
                         Applicants—which could include schools, libraries, nonprofit
                         organizations, and local government entities—generally have between 1
                         and 4 months to complete the application paperwork, depending on the
                         program. During this time, program officials are available to provide
                         information and, in some cases, guidance on preparing grant proposals.
                         When the application period closes, program officials assemble a group of
                         grant readers to review the proposals. According to program officials,
                         grant readers typically have expertise in some aspect of the grant subject.
                         For example, according to a program official, the Technology Innovation
                         Challenge Grant program uses three types of grant readers: teachers,
                         school administrators, and educational technology experts from outside
                         the school system. Grant readers typically score the proposals using
                         established criteria. For example, Commerce’s TIIAP application package
                         lists review criteria that include project purpose, feasibility, and
                         significance; community involvement; and evaluation, documentation, and
                         dissemination. Often, proposals are rank ordered according to their scores
                         as part of the process to determine which will be funded.

                         The formula grant programs distribute their funds to eligible
                         recipients—usually state agencies—using formulas established by
                         legislation or regulation that determine the amount each receives. For
                         example, the formula that determines the amount of funding each state
                         receives from the Perkins Act Vocational Education Basic Grants to States
                         program is based on each state’s per capita income and its population of
                         three specific age groups—with emphasis on ages 15 to 19. Many of the
                         formula grant programs we identified included a formula factor that gives
                         priority to low-income populations. For example, for Education’s
                         Eisenhower Professional Development State Grant Program, the formula
                         is based on each state’s population of children aged 5 through 17 and
                         children from low-income families. Most formula programs we identified
                         required potential recipients to submit a multiyear plan describing how the
                         funding will be used. For example, the Technology Literacy Challenge
                         Fund program requires each state education agency that applies for
                         funding to submit a state technology plan that includes a description of
                         long-term strategies for financing education technology in the state.




                         Page 21                   GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                    Appendix I
                                    Program Characteristics




Table I.3: Processes for Awarding
Funding                                                                      Competitive award    Formula award
                                    Program                                  process              process
                                    Programs that target technology
                                      Department of Education
                                    Special Education Technology and         x
                                     Media Services for Individuals With
                                     Disabilities
                                    Star Schools                             x
                                    Technology Innovation Challenge          x
                                      Grants
                                    Technology Literacy Challenge Fund                            x
                                      Department of Agriculture
                                    Distance Learning and Telemedicine       x
                                      Grants
                                      Department of Commerce
                                    Public Telecommunications Facilities     x
                                      Program
                                    Telecommunications and Information       x
                                      Infrastructure Assistance Program
                                      Federal Communications Commission
                                    Universal Service Discount for Schools                        x
                                     and Libraries (E-rate)a
                                      National Institutes of Health
                                    Information Systems and Access Grants    x
                                      National Science Foundation
                                    Connections to the Internet              x
                                    Programs that do not target technology
                                      Department of Education
                                    Alaska Native Student Enrichment         x
                                      Program
                                    Bilingual Education Capacity and         x
                                      Demonstration Grants
                                    Emergency Immigrant Education                                 x
                                     Assistance Program
                                    Foreign Language Assistance              x
                                    Eisenhower Professional Development      x
                                      Federal Activities
                                    Eisenhower Professional Development                           x
                                      State Grants
                                    Fund for the Improvement of Education    x
                                    Goals 2000 State and Local Education                          x
                                     Systemic Improvement Grants
                                                                                                            (continued)



                                    Page 22                       GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix I
Program Characteristics




                                                Competitive award   Formula award
Program                                         process             process
Javits Gifted and Talented Students             x
  Education Program
Innovative Education Program                                        x
  Strategies
Migrant Education Basic State Grant                                 x
 Program
Migrant Education Coordination                  x
 Program
Magnet Schools Assistance                       x
Perkins Act Tech-Prep Education                                     x
Perkins Act Vocational Education Basic                              x
  Grants to States
Perkins Act Vocational Education                x
  Indians Set-Aside
Special Education Grants to States                                  x
Title I Grants to Local Education                                   x
  Agencies
Twenty-First Century Community                  x
 Learning Centers
Women’s Educational Equity Act                  x
 Program
    Institute of Museum and Library Services
National Leadership Grants                      x
Native American and Native Hawaiian             x                   x
 Library Services Grants
State Grants                                                        x
    National Endowment for the Humanities
Promotion of the Humanities Education,          x
  Development, and Demonstration
  Grants
Promotion of the Humanities Seminars            x
  and Institutes

a
The E-rate provides discounts; no direct funding is involved.




Page 23                            GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                 Appendix I
                                 Program Characteristics




Table I.4: Program Funding and
Estimates of Amounts and                                                            FY 1996
Percentages for Technology, FY                                                         Estimated
1996-98                                                                               amount for
                                                             Program funding       technology (in
                                                             (in thousands of       thousands of      Percentage for
                                 Program                              dollars)           dollars)        technology
                                 Programs that target technology
                                   Department of Education
                                 Special Education                     $9,993a            $9,993                100
                                  Technology and Media
                                  Services for Individuals
                                  With Disabilities
                                 Star Schools                          23,000             23,000                100
                                 Technology Innovation                 38,000             38,000                100
                                   Challenge Grants
                                                                              b                   b                b
                                 Technology Literacy
                                   Challenge Fund
                                   Department of Agriculture
                                 Distance Learning and                    7,500               7,500             100
                                   Telemedicine Grants
                                   Department of Commerce
                                 Public                                16,425             14,303                 87e
                                   Telecommunications
                                   Facilities Program
                                 Telecommunications                    24,530             22,228                 91e
                                   and Information
                                   Infrastructure
                                   Assistance Program
                                   Federal Communications Commission
                                                                              g                   g                g
                                 Universal Service
                                  Discount for Schools
                                  and Libraries (E-rate)f

                                   National Institutes of Health
                                 Information Systems and                  1,863               1,863             100
                                   Access Grants
                                   National Science Foundation
                                 Connections to the                        596                 596              100
                                  Internet
                                 Programs that do not target technology
                                   Department of Education
                                                                              b                   b                b
                                 Alaska Native Student
                                   Enrichment Program




                                 Page 24                       GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                         Appendix I
                                         Program Characteristics




                          FY 1997                                                          FY 1998
                         Estimated amount                          Program funding      Estimated amount
 Program funding (in     for technology (in    Percentage for      (in thousands of     for technology (in    Percentage for
thousands of dollars) thousands of dollars)       technology                dollars) thousands of dollars)       technology



             $10,255a               $10,255                100              $34,023               $34,023                100



              30,000                 30,000                100               34,000                  34,000              100
              56,965                 56,965                100              106,000               106,000                100

             200,000c               200,000                100              425,000d              425,000                100



               8,597                  8,597                100               12,500                  12,500              100



              16,461                 14,623                 89e              21,767                  19,944               92e


              23,953                 20,902                 87e              21,782                  18,511               85e




                    g                     g                   g
                                                                         1,665,138 in         1,665,138 in               100
                                                                   discounts in the 18 discounts in the 18
                                                                      mos. beginning mos. beginning 1/1/98
                                                                                1/1/98


               1,701                  1,701                100                 1,550                  1,550              100



                 467                   467                 100                  147                    147               100




                                          h                   h                                           h                 h
                 905                                                            905

                                                                                                                  (continued)




                                         Page 25                        GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix I
Program Characteristics




                                                 FY 1996
                                                    Estimated
                                                   amount for
                           Program funding      technology (in
                           (in thousands of      thousands of     Percentage for
Program                             dollars)          dollars)       technology
                                                             h                  h
Bilingual Education                 117,200
  Capacity and
  Demonstration Grants
                                                             h                  h
Emergency Immigrant                  50,000
 Education Assistance
 Program
                                                             h                  h
Foreign Language                     10,039
  Assistance
Eisenhower Professional              17,984          360 - 900              2-5
  Development Federal
  Activities
                                                             h                  h
Eisenhower Professional             274,265
  Development State
  Grants
                                                             h                  h
Fund for the                         37,611
  Improvement of
  Education
Goals 2000 State and                340,000            34,997                 10
 Local Education
 Systemic Improvement
 Grants
Javits Gifted and                     3,000                300                10
  Talented Students
  Education Program
                                                             h                  h
Innovative Education                275,000
  Program Strategies
                                                             h                  h
Migrant Education Basic             299,475
 State Grant Program
                                           b                 b                  b
Migrant Education
 Coordination Program
Magnet Schools                       91,959            17,104                 19
 Assistance Program
                                                             h                  i
Perkins Act Tech-Prep               100,000
  Education
                                                             h                  h
Perkins Act Vocational              962,976
  Education Basic Grants
  to States
                                                             h                  h
Perkins Act Vocational               12,387
  Education Indians
  Set-Aside
                                                             h                  h
Special Education                 2,323,837
 Grants to States




Page 26                     GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                         Appendix I
                                         Program Characteristics




                          FY 1997                                                         FY 1998
                         Estimated amount                          Program funding      Estimated amount
 Program funding (in     for technology (in    Percentage for      (in thousands of     for technology (in   Percentage for
thousands of dollars) thousands of dollars)       technology                dollars) thousands of dollars)      technology
                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
             141,650                                                        160,000


                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
             150,000                                                        150,000


                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
               5,000                                                          5,000

              13,342              267 - 667               2-5                23,300            466 - 1,165             2-5


                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
             310,000                                                        335,000


                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
              40,000                                                        108,100


                                                                                                         h                 h
             476,000                42,854                   9              466,000



               5,000                   500                  10                6,500                   650                10


                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
             310,000                                                        350,000

                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
             299,473                                                        299,475

               5,998                 3,300                  59                5,998                  3,300               59

              92,000                    26                  29              101,000                 26,462               26

                                          h                   i                                          h                 i
             100,000                                                        103,000

                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
           1,004,904                                                      1,009,852


                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
              12,592                                                         13,013


                                          h                   h
           3,107,522                                                      3,807,700j                     h                 h



                                                                                                                 (continued)


                                         Page 27                       GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix I
Program Characteristics




                                                  FY 1996
                                                     Estimated
                                                    amount for
                           Program funding       technology (in
                           (in thousands of       thousands of      Percentage for
Program                             dollars)           dollars)        technology
                                                                h                h
Title I Grants to Local           6,730,348
  Education Agencies
                                                                h                h
Twenty-First Century                    750
 Community Learning
 Centers
Women’s Educational                          0                 0                0
 Equity Act Program
  Institute of Museum and Library Services
                                             g                  g                g
National Leadership
 Grants
                                             k                  k                k
Native American and
 Native Hawaiian Library
 Services Grants
                                             k                  k                k
State Grants
  National Endowment for the Humanities
Promotion of the                      3,645                 1,700              47
  Humanities Education,
  Development, and
  Demonstration Grants
Promotion of the                     10,018                 <100               <1
  Humanities Seminars
  and Institutes




Page 28                     GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                         Appendix I
                                         Program Characteristics




                          FY 1997                                                         FY 1998
                         Estimated amount                          Program funding      Estimated amount
 Program funding (in     for technology (in    Percentage for      (in thousands of     for technology (in   Percentage for
thousands of dollars) thousands of dollars)       technology                dollars) thousands of dollars)      technology
                                                                                                         h                 h
           7,295,232                240,000                  3            7,375,232

                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
               1,000                                                         40,000


                                          h                   h                                          h                 h
               2,000                                                          3,000


                    g                     g                   g
                                                                              5,488                  4,116               75

                    k                     k                   k
                                                                              2,561                   896                35


                    k                     k                   k
                                                                            135,486                 67,734               50


               3,988                  2,302                 58                4,649                  3,130               67



               6,329                   <63                 <1                 6,107                   <61                <1




                                         Page 29                       GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix I
Program Characteristics




a
 The Technology Services program and the Media Services and Captioning program were
separate programs in 1996 and 1997. According to a program official, this funding amount
represents the funding level for the Technology Services Program only. The Media Services and
Captioning program did not provide funding to schools or libraries.
b
    Not applicable—this program was new in 1997.
c
    Includes $750,000 program evaluation set-aside.
d
    Includes $2 million program evaluation set-aside.
e
 We consider programs that target technology to be 100 percent for technology, with the
exception of the two Commerce programs that pay administrative costs out of their program
appropriation. (The remaining programs pay administrative costs from separate administrative
budgets.)
f
    The E-rate is a discount; no direct funding is involved.
g
    Not applicable—this program was new in 1998.
h
 Program officials said they were unable to provide an estimate of the percentage or amount
spent on technology.
i
 According to the program director, this program is considered 100 percent for technology, but
includes other types of technology in addition to information and telecommunications technology.
j
    Includes $6.7 million program evaluation set-aside.
k
 According to an IMLS official, changes were made to the Native American and Native Hawaiian
Library Services program and the State Grant program, when they were moved from the
Department of Education, that would make comparisons of 1998 data with 1996 and 1997 data
invalid.




Page 30                                 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix II

Potential for Duplication


                                  What is the potential for duplication of programs for K - 12 schools and
                                  libraries as seen in the targeted activities and recipients of each
                                  program?


                                  We analyzed the 35 programs that could fund technology for schools or
Potential for                     libraries, using a framework we developed during our work on the
Duplication Is Limited            Government Performance and Results Act.14 While we found that there are
                                  similarities among the programs, we did not identify instances where two
                                  programs were designed to provide identical services to identical
                                  recipients. We relied on agency program documents and interviews with
                                  agency officials to ascertain the similarity of goals, strategies, and
                                  recipients. From that review, we found that programs varied in at least one
                                  of the three factors. Due to the number of programs and individual
                                  recipients, we did not examine the implementation of each program or
                                  individual grantee awards to ascertain the similarity of goals, strategies,
                                  and recipients.

                                  To more easily examine the three factors, we grouped the programs on the
                                  basis of activities—whether technology is the only activity to which a
                                  program’s funds can be applied, and recipients—whether schools or
                                  libraries are the only targeted recipients. As table II.1 shows, this produces
                                  four groups of programs. The first group focuses on the programs that are
                                  most similar to each other because they specifically target schools or
                                  libraries as the recipients and technology as the strategy or activity to
                                  achieve program goals. In contrast, the fourth group is the most varied.
                                  These programs target neither technology nor schools and libraries, but
                                  permit spending on many activities besides technology and provide money
                                  to recipients in addition to schools or libraries.

Table II.1: Matrix for Grouping
Programs That Can Be Used for                                                           Types of recipients
Technology                                                                                          Schools or libraries
                                                                    Schools or libraries            allowed but not
                                  Program purpose                   targeted                        exclusively targeted
                                  Technology targeted               Category I: targets schools     Category III: targets
                                                                    or libraries and technology     technology but not schools
                                                                    (4 programs)                    or libraries (6 programs)
                                  Technology allowed but not Category II: targets schools Category IV: does not target
                                  exclusively targeted       or libraries but not         schools, libraries, or
                                                             technology (22 programs)     technology (3 programs)



                                  14
                                   Managing for Results: Using the Results Act to Address Mission Fragmentation and Program Overlap
                                  (GAO/AIMD-97-146, Aug. 29, 1997).



                                  Page 31                           GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                  Appendix II
                                  Potential for Duplication




Category I: Programs That         Four of the 35 programs fall into the category of targeting funds
Target Schools or Libraries       exclusively to schools or libraries and technology. Education administers
and Technology                    three of the programs (Star Schools, Technology Innovation Challenge
                                  Grants, and Technology Literacy Challenge Fund), and the FCC administers
                                  the fourth (the E-rate). Table II.2 shows the goals, activities, and recipients
                                  for these four programs. When these programs are analyzed in terms of
                                  their goals, activities, and targeted recipients, all four are found to be
                                  similar in one aspect—they target school districts with a high percentage
                                  of children from low-income families. In other respects, they vary; for
                                  example:

                              •   Education’s Technology Innovation Challenge Grants program and the
                                  Technology Literacy Challenge Fund program are the most similar. Both
                                  are aimed at using technology in the classroom, both fund the same types
                                  of technology-related activities, and both provide funding exclusively to
                                  schools. However, there is a distinction between these programs: the
                                  Innovation Challenge grants focus more on identifying innovative uses of
                                  technology in the classroom, while the Literacy Challenge Fund grants
                                  focus more on increasing the use of established technology and integrating
                                  technology into the school curriculum.
                              •   The goals of the two remaining programs differ both from the first two
                                  programs and from each other. The Star Schools program focuses on
                                  improving student instruction through distance learning technologies such
                                  as satellites and fiber optics,15 while the E-rate focuses on improving
                                  schools’ and libraries’ access to telecommunications services. The Star
                                  Schools program provides project grants, while the E-rate program
                                  provides discounts to schools and libraries for specific kinds of
                                  technology—internal connections, Internet access, and other commercial
                                  telecommunications services.




                                  15
                                   Distance learning provides underserved populations, such as those in rural areas, access to education
                                  and other services through telecommunications technologies. For example, a teacher in one location
                                  can teach students in another.



                                  Page 32                            GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                              Appendix II
                                              Potential for Duplication




Table II.2: Programs That Target Technology for Schools or Libraries
Program               Program goals                      Program activities                              Targeted recipients
Department of Education
Star Schools           To use distance learning to (1)           General projects that (1) develop,    Priority to LEAs with a high
                       improve instruction in mathematics,       construct, acquire, and maintain      percentage of children from
                       science, foreign languages, and           telecommunications facilities and     low-income families
                       other subjects, such as literacy skills   equipment; (2) develop and acquire
                       and vocational education; (2) serve       live interactive educational and
                       underserved populations, including        instructional programming; (3) obtain
                       the disadvantaged, illiterate,            technical assistance for the use of
                       limited-English proficient, and           such facilities and instructional
                       individuals with disabilities             programming; Dissemination
                                                                 projects designed to provide
                                                                 dissemination and technical
                                                                 assistance to help state education
                                                                 agencies (SEA) and local education
                                                                 agencies (LEA) plan and implement
                                                                 technology-based distance learning
                                                                 systems
Technology             To implement, evaluate, and               Activities such as software             Priority to LEAs with a high
Innovation Challenge   document innovative applications of       development; extending learning by      percentage of children from
Grants                 information and computer                  connecting schools to other schools     low-income families
                       technologies to support systemic          for collaborative learning and to
                       educational reform                        libraries, businesses, and other
                                                                 organizations; professional
                                                                 development that leads to effective
                                                                 integration of technology into the
                                                                 curriculum; strategies that use
                                                                 technology to help at-risk students
                                                                 achieve
Technology Literacy    To implement state strategies             Apply technology to support school      Priority to LEAs with a high
Challenge Fund         designed to enable all schools to         reform, acquire hardware and            percentage of children from
                       integrate technology into school          software to improve student learning,   low-income families and that
                       curriculum so that all students           provide connections to                  demonstrate a great need for
                       become technologically literate in        telecommunications networks to          technology
                       reading, math, science, and other         obtain access to resources and
                       core academic skills essential for        services, provide ongoing
                       their success in the 21st century         professional development in
                                                                 integrating technology into the
                                                                 school curriculum, and provide
                                                                 education services for adults and
                                                                 families
                                                                                                                               (continued)




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Program                  Program goals                            Program activities                         Targeted recipients
Federal Communications Commission
Universal Service        To improve schools’ and libraries’       Internal connections, Internet             K - 12 and vocational education
Discount for Schools     access to modern                         access, and other                          students and library users; largest
and Libraries (E-rate)   telecommunications services              telecommunications services                discounts are given to schools
                                                                                                             and libraries in districts with a
                                                                                                             high percentage of children from
                                                                                                             low-income families


Category II: Programs That                      The largest of the four categories includes programs that target schools or
Target Schools or Libraries                     libraries but do not target technology. Twenty-two of the 35 programs are
but Not Technology                              in this category. These programs allow schools or libraries to use funds for
                                                technology, but in many of the programs, technology is only one of many
                                                activities to which the funding can be applied. Education administers 19 of
                                                the programs, while the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS),
                                                which supports all types of libraries through grants and discretionary
                                                programs, administers the three others.16 Table II. 3 shows the goals,
                                                activities, and recipients for these programs.


Education Programs                              Many of the 19 Education programs in this category share a similar goal of
                                                improving student achievement or providing equal access to education.
                                                Some are targeted to specific groups of students, such as those with
                                                limited English proficiency, Native American students, gifted students,
                                                disabled students, and students at risk of failing to meet their state’s
                                                academic standards. Others target aid to the nation’s schools in general.
                                                Here are examples that show the differences between programs in this
                                                regard:

                                            •   An example of a school-targeted program with a broad range of activities
                                                is Education’s Title I, Part A, Grants to Local Education Agencies program,
                                                commonly known as Title I. Title I funds are used to provide supplemental
                                                academic programs to students at risk of failure and to support activities
                                                as varied as paying for teachers, developing new curricula, and buying
                                                instructional materials—including technology. Program officials said that
                                                they do not keep track of how much of the funding is spent specifically on
                                                technology, nor do they know specifically what kinds of technology
                                                schools purchase. However, a recent Education study estimated that




                                                16
                                                  The Congress established this independent agency in 1996 to improve museum, library, and other
                                                information services.



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                    technology expenditures from Title I funding totaled about $240 million in
                    1997, or about 3 percent of the year’s Title I funding.17
                •   An example of a more narrowly focused program is the Alaska Native
                    Student Enrichment program. The goal of this program is to provide
                    enrichment programs and family support services for Alaska Native
                    students from rural areas who are preparing to enter village high schools
                    so that they can excel in science and mathematics. The activities used to
                    meet the goal of this program are broad in that they can include any
                    activity that will provide qualified students the services needed to help
                    them excel in science and mathematics. In 1997, three multiyear grants
                    were awarded; none of the grants were awarded to elementary or
                    secondary schools.


IMLS Programs       The three programs administered by the IMLS—National Leadership
                    Grants, State Grants, and Native American and Native Hawaiian Library
                    Services Grants—are all targeted to libraries or museums; in one case,
                    grantees are limited to organizations that serve Indian tribes, Alaska
                    Natives, and Native Hawaiians. While the goals of these programs are
                    similar, there are distinctions that limit the potential for duplication; for
                    example:

                •   The State Grants program is the only program that allocates funds to all 50
                    states. This program establishes or enhances electronic linkages between
                    libraries to promote access to learning and provide access to people of
                    diverse backgrounds, including those with disabilities or with limited
                    functional literacy or information skills.
                •   The National Leadership Grants program provides grants for specific
                    activities such as educating and training library professionals, enhancing
                    library services through technology, developing model programs of
                    cooperation between libraries and museums, and preserving unique library
                    services. In 1998, this program awarded 41 grants to organizations such as
                    universities and public library systems.
                •   The Native American and Native Hawaiian Library Services Grants
                    program supports projects that establish or enhance library services to
                    federally recognized Indian tribes or organizations that serve and
                    represent Native Hawaiians. In 1998, 287 grants were awarded.




                    17
                     U.S. Department of Education, Promising Results, Continuing Challenges: The Final Report of the
                    National Assessment of Title I (1999).



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Table II.3: Programs That Target Schools or Libraries but Do Not Target Technology
Program               Program goals                        Program activities                        Targeted recipients
Department of Education
Alaska Native Student To provide enrichment programs           Activities (1) prepare qualified      Alaska Native students in rural
Enrichment Program and family support services for             students who are preparing to enter   areas preparing to enter a village
                      Alaska Native students from rural        village high schools to excel in      high school
                      areas who are preparing to enter         science and mathematics and (2)
                      village high schools so they may         provide support services to the
                      excel in science and mathematics         families of such students
Bilingual Education  To develop and enhance                    Programs that provide direct          Students with limited English
Capacity and         high-quality instruction through          services to students with limited     proficiency
Demonstration Grants bilingual education or special            English proficiency through the
                     alternative instruction to children and   school system, family education, or
                     youth of limited English proficiency      early childhood programs
                     to (1) develop proficiency in English,
                     and to the extent possible, their
                     native language, and (2) meet the
                     state achievement standards
                     expected for all students
Emergency Immigrant To assist SEAs and LEAs that               Funds are used to provide (1)        SEAs, LEAs, and immigrant
Education Assistance experience unexpectedly large             supplementary educational services, children enrolled in public and
Program              increases in their student population     (2) additional basic instructional   nonpublic schools
                     due to immigration in providing           services, and (3) inservice training
                     supplementary educational services        for personnel instructing immigrant
                     and offsetting costs for migrant          children
                     children
Foreign Language       To support innovative model             Projects that support innovative   K - 12 students
Assistance             programs of foreign language study      model programs of foreign language
                       in public schools                       study in K - 12 schools
Eisenhower             To develop and implement                Projects that focus on developing     K - 12 teachers
Professional           high-quality professional               and implementing high-quality
Development Federal    development for K - 12 teachers in      professional development for K - 12
Activities             the core academic subjects and          teachers in the core academic
                       stimulate reform in professional        subjects
                       development nationally in areas that
                       are likely to generate findings of
                       national significance
                                                                                                                            (continued)




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Program                 Program goals                           Program activities                       Targeted recipients
Eisenhower              To provide high-quality professional    Activities ensure that teachers and     K - 12 teachers
Professional            development activities primarily in     other staff have access to
Development State       science and mathematics but may         professional development that (1) is
Grants                  also include other core academic        tied to challenging state standards,
                        subjects                                (2) reflects recent research on
                                                                teaching and learning, (3) includes
                                                                strong academic content and
                                                                pedagogical components, (4)
                                                                incorporates strategies for meeting
                                                                the needs of diverse populations, (5)
                                                                is of sufficient intensity and duration
                                                                to have an impact on teacher
                                                                performance in the classroom, and
                                                                (6) is part of everyday life and
                                                                continuous improvement
Fund for the            To support nationally significant and   Funds may be used for a wide range K - 12 students
Improvement of          innovative programs for improving       of projects under the authority of the
Education               education                               program. Examples of projects
                                                                include (1) Competitions for State
                                                                Partnerships for Character Education
                                                                to teach caring, citizenship, justice
                                                                and fairness, respect, responsibility,
                                                                and trustworthiness; (2) Blue Ribbon
                                                                Schools program to identify and
                                                                recognize outstanding schools; (3)
                                                                Christa McAuliffe Fellowship
                                                                program to identify outstanding
                                                                teachers
Goals 2000, State and   To provide grants to state education    The program supports teacher        K - 12 students and teachers
Local Education         agencies to support comprehensive       preservice and inservice training,
Systemic                state and local education reform tied   development of standards and
Improvement Grants      to high standards for all students      assessments, local education reform
                                                                activities, technology, and other
                                                                crosscutting activities
Javits Gifted and       To provide financial assistance to      Projects must (1) incorporate            Teachers and gifted and talented
Talented Students       improve the teaching and learning of    high-level content and performance       students; priority is given to
Education Program       gifted and talented students through    standards in one or more of the core     projects that (1) serve students
                        research, demonstration projects,       subject areas, (2) provide               who are economically
                        personnel training, and other           professional development, (3)            disadvantaged, have limited
                        activities of national significance     provide training for parents to          English skills, are disabled, or are
                                                                support their children’s educational     at risk of being unrecognized and
                                                                progress, (4) include an evaluation      underserved; and (2) operate in
                                                                of the project’s activities, and (5)     Empowerment Zones and
                                                                include innovative teaching strategies   Enterprise Communities
                                                                                                                                 (continued)




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Program                Program goals                          Program activities                        Targeted recipients
Innovative Education   To assist education agencies in the    Technology to increase student            All K - 12 students; funds are
Program Strategies     reform of elementary and secondary     learning, teacher training, acquisition   distributed to LEAs according to
                       education                              and use of instructional and              the relative enrollments in public
                                                              educational materials, education          and private, nonprofit schools
                                                              reform projects, programs to              within the school districts and are
                                                              improve higher-order thinking skills      adjusted to provide higher
                                                              of disadvantaged K - 12 students          per-pupil funding to districts with
                                                              and to prevent student drop-out,          high numbers of children from
                                                              literacy programs for students and        low-income families or in sparsely
                                                              adults, programs for gifted and           populated areas
                                                              talented students, and school
                                                              improvement and reform activities
Magnet Schools         To provide grants to LEAs for use in   Programs for magnet schools that (1) LEAs and students that attend
Assistance             magnet schools that are part of an     eliminate, reduce, or prevent minority magnet schools
                       approved desegregation plan and        group isolation in public K - 12
                       designed to bring together students    schools with substantial proportions
                       from different social, economic,       of minority group children; (2)
                       racial, and ethnic backgrounds         develop and implement projects that
                                                              will assist systemic reform and
                                                              provide all children the opportunity
                                                              to meet challenging state content
                                                              standards and student performance
                                                              standards; (3) develop and design
                                                              innovative education methods and
                                                              practices; and (4) provide courses of
                                                              instruction that will strengthen the
                                                              knowledge of academic subjects
                                                              and the grasp of tangible and
                                                              marketable vocational skills of
                                                              students
Migrant Education      To assist states to ensure that        Activities that identify eligible         Migrant students with priority to
Basic State Grant      migrant children meet the same state   children and their needs and provide      children at risk of failing to meet
Program                content and performance standards      educational and support services,         state content and performance
                       all children are expected to meet      teacher training, advocacy and            standards
                                                              outreach, parental involvement
                                                              activities, and equipment acquisition
                                                              that address the needs of eligible
                                                              children
Migrant Education    To encourage interstate and              Works with (1) programs in federal        Migrant students
Coordination Program intrastate coordination of migrant       agencies that improve coordination
                     education and reduce the                 services to migrant workers and
                     administrative costs of SEAs             families to develop programs that
                     receiving Title I, Migrant Education     encourage states to work together
                     Program funds                            by coordinating identification and
                                                              recruitment efforts, administer
                                                              out-of-state testing, utilize distance
                                                              learning technology, and develop
                                                              multistate assessment instruments;
                                                              and (2) programs that explore the
                                                              use of technology to improve
                                                              teaching and learning for highly
                                                              mobile migrant students
                                                                                                                                 (continued)



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Program                   Program goals                           Program activities                         Targeted recipients
Perkins Act               To develop and operate 4-year           Activities that provide a 4-year           Individuals who want to
Tech-Prep Education       programs designed to provide an         curriculum with a common core in           participate in a combined
                          education program leading to a          math, science, communications, and         secondary/postsecondary
                          2-year associate degree or              technologies designed to lead to an        program leading to an associate
                          certificate and to provide, in a        associate degree or certificate in a       degree or 2-year certificate with
                          systematic manner, comprehensive        specific field, including training for     technical preparation in at least
                          links between secondary schools         teachers and counselors                    one field of engineering, applied
                          and postsecondary educational                                                      science, mechanical, industrial, or
                          institutions                                                                       practical art or trade; or
                                                                                                             agriculture, health, or business
Perkins Act            To assist states and outlying areas to     Funds may be used for any purpose          Ranges from high school students
Vocational Education expand and improve their vocational          or student so long as the larger goal      to adults who need retraining to
Basic Grants to States education programs and provide             is to enhance vocational education in      adapt to changing technological
                       special needs populations equal            the school or program                      and labor market conditions
                       access to vocational education
Perkins Act               To provide financial assistance to      Funds may be used for (1) remedial         Federally recognized Indian
Vocational Education      Indian tribes or tribal organizations   education, only to the extent that it is   tribes, Alaska Natives, and
Indians Set-Aside         and Bureau of Indian Affairs-funded     necessary for a vocational education       Bureau of Indian Affairs-funded
                          schools to plan, conduct, and           student to benefit from vocational         schools
                          administer vocational education         instruction; and (2) the integration of
                          programs                                academic and vocational education
                                                                  through coherent sequences of
                                                                  courses so that students achieve
                                                                  both academic and occupational
                                                                  competencies
Special Education         To improve results for children with    Federal funds are combined with       Children and youth with
Grants to States          disabilities by helping SEAs and        state and local funds to provide all  disabilities (aged 3-21)
                          LEAs provide children with              children with disabilities an
                          disabilities access to high-quality     appropriate education, including
                          education that will help them meet      special education and related
                          challenging standards and prepare       services; funds are used for teachers
                          them for employment and                 and other personnel salaries,
                          independent living                      education materials, related services
                                                                  such as special transportation or
                                                                  occupational therapy that allow
                                                                  children with disabilities to access
                                                                  education services, and other
                                                                  education-related costs
Title I,Grants to Local   To provide supplemental academic        Instruction and instructional support, Students who are failing or at risk
Education Agencies        support to help students at risk of     which includes hiring teachers and     of failing to meet state academic
Agencies                  failure to meet challenging academic    teacher aides, and purchasing          standards
                          standards                               instructional materials
                                                                                                                                    (continued)




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Program                Program goals                            Program activities                      Targeted recipients
Twenty-First Century   To provide grants to inner-city and      Activities must include at least four of Residents of all ages within the
Community Learning     rural K - 12 public schools, or          the following kinds of programs: (1)     communities served by the
Centers                consortia of such schools, to enable     literacy education; (2) senior citizen learning centers
                       them to plan, implement, or expand       programs; (3) children’s day care
                       projects that benefit the educational,   services; (4) integrated education,
                       health, social services, cultural, and   health, social service, recreational,
                       recreational needs of their              or cultural activities; (5) summer and
                       communities                              weekend school programs in
                                                                conjunction with recreation; (6)
                                                                nutrition and health; (7) expanded
                                                                library service hours to serve
                                                                community needs; (8)
                                                                telecommunications and technology
                                                                education for all ages; (9) parenting
                                                                skills education; (10) support and
                                                                training for child day care providers;
                                                                (11) employment counseling,
                                                                training, and placement; (12)
                                                                services for individuals who leave
                                                                school before graduating from
                                                                secondary school; and (13) services
                                                                for individuals with disabilities
                                                                                                                                (continued)




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Program               Program goals                               Program activities                     Targeted recipients
Institute of Museum and Library Services
National Leadership   To enhance the quality of library           Projects include (1) training and      Libraries and museums
Grants                services nationwide and provide             education in library and information
                      coordination between libraries and          science, including graduate
                      museums                                     fellowships, traineeships, institutes,
                                                                  and other programs; (2) applied
                                                                  research and demonstration efforts
                                                                  that emphasize access to improved
                                                                  library and information resources; (3)
                                                                  preserving unique library resources
                                                                  or addressing the challenges of
                                                                  preserving and archiving digital
                                                                  media; (4) developing, documenting,
                                                                  and disseminating both the
                                                                  processes and products of model
                                                                  programs of cooperation between
                                                                  libraries and museums with
                                                                  emphasis on how the community is
                                                                  served, technology is used, or
                                                                  education is enhanced
Native American and   To support Indian tribes, Alaska            Funds may be used to provide          Indian tribal libraries, Alaska
Native Hawaiian       Native villages, and organizations          library services to the Native        Native villages, and organizations
Library Services      that serve and represent Native             American and Native Hawaiian          that serve Native Hawaiians
Grants                Hawaiians in providing library              communities for ongoing library
                      services to their communities               services provided by an established
                                                                  library, to improve existing library
                                                                  services, or to implement new library
                                                                  services as part of an established
                                                                  library
State Grants          To (1) consolidate federal library          Activities that establish or enhance   Users of libraries and information
                      programs; (2) promote access to             electronic linkages among or           services
                      learning and information in all types       between libraries; and/or
                      of libraries; (3) promote electronic        electronically link libraries with
                      networks; (4) provide linkages              educational, school, or information
                      among and between libraries; and            services
                      (5) target people of diverse
                      backgrounds, individuals with
                      disabilities, and those with limited
                      functional literacy or information skills


Category III: Programs                         Six programs have goals and activities targeted to technology but not to
Targeting Technology but                       schools or libraries. These six programs, shown in table II.4, vary greatly in
Not Schools or Libraries                       their goals, activities, and recipients. Some have a broad focus, while
                                               others are relatively narrow; for example:

                                           •   The TIIAP, administered by Commerce, provides funding for a broad range
                                               of technology-related activities and for a wide range of recipients. Its goal
                                               is to promote the development, widespread availability, and use of




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    advanced telecommunications and information technology that serves the
    public interest. In 1998, libraries and K - 12 schools received or were
    beneficiaries of slightly more than one-fourth of the 46 grants awarded.
    The rest went to such organizations as police and fire departments, health
    care providers, universities and community colleges, and other community
    organizations.
•   The Special Education Technology and Media Services for Individuals
    With Disabilities program has a much narrower set of goals, activities, and
    recipients. This program promotes the research, development, and
    demonstration of innovative and emerging technologies for disabled
    children. A program official said that grants from this program are
    awarded primarily to universities and research organizations that
    specialize in research activities for the disabled. Of the 36 grants awarded
    in 1998, 1 went to a school district, 1 to a state education agency, and none
    to libraries.18




    18
      For the entire Technology and Media Services program, 85 grants were awarded in 1998; 36 of the
    grants were awarded in the categories that support the kinds of technology that could be used in the
    classroom. The remaining 49 grants were primarily for captioning services for the deaf.



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Table II.4: Programs That Target Technology but Do Not Target Schools or Libraries
Program               Program goals                      Program activities                        Targeted recipients
Department of Education
Special Education    To promote the development,             Research, development, and            Children and other persons with
Technology and       demonstration, and utilization of       demonstration of innovative and       disabilities and their families
Media Services for   technology; and support education       emerging technologies for children
Individuals With     media activities for children with      with disabilities
Disabilities         disabilities
Department of Commerce
Public               To extend telecommunications            Grants for the planning and           General public and students, with
Telecommunications   services, including public              construction of telecommunications    special consideration to projects
Facilities Program   broadcasting services and               facilities; matching grants for       that increase minority and
                     nonbroadcast technologies; increase     apparatus necessary for the           women’s participation in and
                     public broadcasting services and        production, dissemination,            ownership of public
                     facilities available to, operated by,   interconnection, captioning,          telecommunications entities
                     and owned by minorities and             broadcast, or other distribution of
                     women; strengthen the capability of     programming and reception of
                     existing public television and radio    noncommercial educational, and
                     stations; and facilitate development    cultural radio and television
                     of a variety of technology-oriented     programs, and related
                     distance learning projects              noncommercial instructional or
                                                             informational material
Telecommunications   Promote the development,                Projects that improve the quality of, General public
and Information      widespread availability, and use of     and the public’s access to, cultural,
Infrastructure       advanced telecommunications and         educational, and training resources;
Assistance Program   information technologies to serve the   reduce the cost, improve the quality,
                     public interest                         and/or increase the accessibility of
                                                             health care and public health
                                                             services; promote responsive public
                                                             safety; improve the effectiveness
                                                             and efficiency of government
                                                             services; and foster communication,
                                                             resource-sharing, and economic
                                                             development within communities,
                                                             both rural and urban
Department of Agriculture
Distance Learning    To enhance learning and health care Telecommunications, computer         Individuals living in rural areas
and Telemedicine     opportunities for rural residents   networks, and related technologies
Grants                                                   that provide educational and/or
                                                         medical benefits to students,
                                                         teachers, medical professionals, and
                                                         rural residents
                                                                                                                         (continued)




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Program                Program goals                        Program activities                   Targeted recipients
National Institutes of Health
Information Systems    To foster the use of computer and    Projects that promote sharing of    Health education information
and Access Grants      telecommunications technologies to   information resources, particularly providers
                       coordinate and disseminate health    those that (1) incorporate online
                       information                          access to National Library of
                                                            Medicine databases and (2) improve
                                                            information availability in
                                                            underserved rural and inner-city
                                                            health facilities and provide AIDS
                                                            information
National Science Foundation
Connections to the     Encourage Internet connections for   The acquisition and maintenance of K - 12 schools, libraries, and
Internet               highly innovative strategies with    hardware and software to establish      museums
                       potential for accelerating network   institutional access to the Internet as
                       development                          well as the installation and recurring
                                                            charges for a communication channel


Category IV: Programs                       The three remaining programs that could be used by schools and libraries
That Do Not Target                          as a technology funding source do not target schools or libraries and also
Schools or Libraries or                     do not target technology. Two of the programs—the Promotion of the
                                            Humanities Education, Development, and Demonstration Grants and the
Technology                                  Promotion of the Humanities Seminars and Institutes—are administered
                                            by the National Endowment for the Humanities. These two programs have
                                            similar goals and targeted recipients in that both promote programs to
                                            improve teaching in the humanities. However, there are differences. The
                                            former supports projects that can strengthen teachers’ abilities to engage
                                            their students in the study of the humanities and determine how specific
                                            topics are best taught and learned. The latter awards grants for summer
                                            seminars and institutes to promote better teaching and research in the
                                            humanities. The third program—the Women’s Educational Equity Act
                                            Program, which is administered by Education—promotes equity in
                                            education for women and girls. See table II.5 for more detail about these
                                            programs.




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Table II.5: Programs That Do Not Target Schools or Libraries or Technology
Program                          Program goals                   Program activities                   Targeted recipients
Department of Education
Women’s Educational Equity Act   To promote gender equity in        Activities that implement gender Female students
Program                          education for women and girls      equity programs in schools and
                                 in the United States               develop model equity programs
                                                                    through research and
                                                                    development, including
                                                                    development of training for
                                                                    teachers, leadership training for
                                                                    women and girls, programs that
                                                                    enhance education and career
                                                                    opportunities, assistance to
                                                                    pregnant students and students
                                                                    with children to complete
                                                                    secondary school, development
                                                                    of educational materials
                                                                    designed to achieve equity, and
                                                                    programs that address sexual
                                                                    harassment and violence
National Endowment for the Humanities
Promotion of the Humanities      To support teachers and            Projects that strengthen the      Teachers of humanities and
Education, Development, and      educational institutions at all    capacity of teachers to engage their students
Demonstration Grants             levels to engage students in the   their students in the substantive
                                 study of the humanities            study of the humanities and
                                                                    address how specific
                                                                    humanities topics are best
                                                                    taught and learned
Promotion of the Humanities      Promote better teaching and        Projects for summer seminars       K - 12 and college teachers,
Summer Seminars and Institutes   research in the humanities         and national institutes; project   their colleagues, and students
                                 through faculty development        awards support direct costs,
                                                                    including salaries, participant
                                                                    stipends, selection costs, travel,
                                                                    and supplies




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Coordination Efforts


                            What efforts have been made to coordinate federal education and
                            technology programs? Specifically,

                        •   What are the missions, activities, and staffing levels of the Department
                            of Education Office of Educational Technology (OET) and the White
                            House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)?
                        •   What efforts are being made by these offices to coordinate federal
                            education and technology programs?
                        •   How can the Results Act be used to coordinate and reduce duplication in
                            these programs?


                            Education’s OET and the White House OSTP have different missions relative
Missions, Activities,       to technology. OET creates policy and provides oversight specifically for
and Staffing of the         educational technology within Education and participates in coordination
OET and the White           activities and policy initiatives associated with education technology
                            across the federal government and within the education community. OSTP
House OSTP                  focuses on broad national science and technology goals, and facilitates the
                            development and implementation of federal policies associated with these
                            goals, including coordinating interagency efforts to develop and
                            implement technology policies, programs, and budgets.


OET Focuses on Using        OET’s  mission is to provide leadership in creating policy and providing
Technology in Schools       oversight for Education’s educational technology initiatives, according to
                            the OET Director. OET also advises the Secretary of Education and is
                            involved in strategic planning regarding educational technology, according
                            to the OET Director. An example of OET’s activities was the office’s
                            collaboration with the White House, in 1998, to host a meeting that
                            brought together more than 150 state and local educators, business and
                            industry leaders, and education association representatives to discuss and
                            exchange ideas for technology training for teachers. One result of this
                            meeting was a set of recommendations for a new teacher training
                            initiative—Technology Training for Teachers—to ensure that teachers are
                            proficient in using technology for teaching and learning.

                            OET, which is under the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Education, is
                            staffed by four professionals. In addition, the office generally has one or
                            two detailees—one from a school district or state department of education
                            whose salary is paid by Education under the Intergovernmental Personnel
                            Act, and one from another principal office within Education, according to
                            the OET Director.



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                            Coordination Efforts




OSTP Promotes the           OSTP provides the president with scientific and technological analysis and
Development and             judgment with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the
Application of Technology   federal government. OSTP’s Technology Division is concerned with federal
                            policies for developing technology to serve broad national goals such as
for the Nation              global economic competitiveness, environmental quality, and national
                            security. In developing national policies, OSTP works with the president’s
                            Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, which is co-chaired by
                            the president’s Advisor for Science and Technology, who also is the
                            Director of OSTP. This committee of national experts in science and
                            technology provides independent advice to the president on science- and
                            technology-related matters, including educational technology. For
                            example, in 1995, a panel of academic and private sector experts was
                            convened to address the administration’s concern about issues related to
                            educational technology. The result of this effort was a report that made
                            specific recommendations in a number of areas, including how technology
                            should be used in the classroom, professional development for teachers,
                            and education research.19 A direct result of the recommendations of this
                            report was an OSTP-led interagency initiative for education research,
                            including educational technology.20

                            OSTP  had 32 federal FTEs in fiscal year 1998; staff were responsible for all
                            OSTP  activities. Of these, 22.5 were professional staff and 9.5 were support
                            staff. Additional staff, such as fellows and agency representatives, were
                            paid through their respective organizations or agencies. However, only
                            half of one professional staff year is devoted specifically to educational
                            technology issues (about a quarter of two staff members’ time).




                            19
                             President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology Panel on Educational Technology,
                            Report to the President on the Use of Technology to Strengthen K - 12 Education in the United States
                            (Mar. 1997).
                            20
                             Agencies involved in this initiative are the National Science Foundation, the Department of
                            Education, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.



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                           Coordination Efforts




Both Offices Play a
Role in Coordinating
Federal Technology
Programs

                           Education’s OET has a major role in coordinating educational technology
OET                        programs within the Department, across federal agencies, and within the
                           education community; for example:

                       •   Within Education, the OET Director meets regularly with technology
                           program officials and officials from various department offices to share
                           information on grant project best practices and to discuss and resolve
                           current issues, according to an OET official. Information from these
                           meetings is also shared with grantees across the country. The OET Director
                           meets bimonthly with the representatives of Education’s technology
                           programs, including the Technology Innovation Challenge Grants, the
                           Technology Literacy Challenge Fund, Star Schools, Technology for
                           Tomorrow’s Teachers, Learning Anytime-Anywhere Partnerships, and
                           Community Technology Centers. The Director also attends meetings with
                           officials from various Education offices, including Special Education and
                           Rehabilitative Services, Higher Education, Elementary and Secondary
                           Education, Vocational and Adult Education, and Educational Research
                           and Improvement.
                       •   OET represents Education on various interagency committees to identify
                           mutual interests and determine ways that federal departments and
                           agencies can share expertise and resources to avoid duplication of effort,
                           according to an OET official. For example, the director represents
                           Education on OSTP committees such as the National Science and
                           Technology Council. The director also leads an Education working group
                           that addresses issues related to the E-rate. Other participants include
                           representatives from Commerce, Agriculture, and the Office of the Vice
                           President.
                       •   Within the education and research community, OET brings parties together
                           to leverage resources. For example, when the state of Nebraska created a
                           curriculum of 50 on-line high school distance learning courses as part of
                           its Star Schools program, OET suggested that the program’s creators host
                           an Internet conference to share their experience with educators
                           nationwide, according to OET officials. In another project, the American
                           Institutes for Research (AIR) proposed to OET that AIR develop a how-to




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           Coordination Efforts




           guide for evaluating technology programs and tracking results. After
           reviewing the draft, OET asked AIR to share its work with the state directors
           of the Technology Literacy Program. State officials provided input and the
           result was An Educator’s Guide to Evaluating the Use of Technology in
           Schools and Classrooms, published in 1998.


           OSTP’s role in coordinating among federal agencies is to help bridge the
OSTP       differences in agencies’ cultures so that they can work together, according
           to the Technology Division associate director. OSTP works with the
           National Science and Technology Council, a Cabinet-level council that
           coordinates the diverse elements of federal science and technology
           research and development. The Council comprises interagency
           committees and work groups. Each major committee is co-chaired by a
           senior official from a federal agency or department and is co-chaired by an
           OSTP associate director. Through the Council and other, more informal
           means, OSTP provides leadership in coordinating science and
           technology-related activities across the federal government. OSTP has a
           broad role in coordinating education policy and education technology as
           part of that effort, according to OSTP officials. For example,

       •   OSTP  participated in the discussions with Education officials when the
           Technology Literacy Challenge Fund was being developed. Education
           officials said that the purpose of the fund was to provide an incentive to
           states. To receive a share of the fund, states were required to develop a
           plan for getting technology into K - 12 schools and integrating it into the
           school curriculum. States could then use the funds to purchase
           technology. Once the legislation passed, implementation of the program
           was the responsibility of Education and OSTP was no longer involved.
       •   OSTP is currently coordinating the Interagency Education Research
           Initiative (IERI), a joint education research program created to develop new
           ways of improving the core of K - 12 education. Education technology is a
           central element of the research. Participants include Education’s Office of
           Educational Research and Improvement, the National Science Foundation,
           and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the
           National Institutes of Health. This interagency effort specifically links the
           best science in teaching and learning to the development, evaluation, and
           widespread dissemination of technology-based tools for teachers and
           students to raise student achievement, according to an OSTP associate
           director.




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                       The Results Act’s emphasis on outcomes implies that federal programs
The Results Act        contributing to the same or similar results should be closely coordinated
Provides a             to ensure that program efforts are mutually reinforcing. The act requires
Framework for          agencies to develop strategic plans and annual performance plans that
                       clearly specify goals, objectives, and measures for their programs. Agency
Coordinating and       performance plans can provide the basis for recognizing crosscutting
Reducing Duplication   efforts because they provide information on programs that cut across
                       agency lines and share common goals. Agencies should identify multiple
Among Federal          programs within or outside the agency that contribute to the same or
Technology Programs    similar goals and describe their efforts to coordinate with them, according
                       to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance. However, because of
                       the iterative nature of performance-based management, more than one
                       cycle of performance plans will probably be required to resolve
                       duplication in programs.

                       In earlier work on the Results Act, we reviewed agencies’ strategic and
                       performance plans.21 In most plans we found that one of the most
                       challenging issues for agencies was recognizing the importance of
                       coordinating crosscutting programs. In our review of Education’s 2000
                       Performance Plan, we found that the Department included a discussion of
                       the need for coordination with other federal agencies for almost all
                       objectives and, in general terms, the issues or efforts that require this
                       coordination. However, the plan did not identify or describe common or
                       complementary performance goals and measures elsewhere in the federal
                       government that relate to Education’s goals and measures.




                       21
                        Managing for Results: Agencies’ Annual Performance Plans Can Help Address Strategic Planning
                       Challenges (GAO/GGD-98-44, Jan. 30, 1998).



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Appendix IV

Information Available on Potential Problems
of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

                      What, if any, information is available about each program’s potential
                      problems regarding fraud, waste, abuse, and efforts to eliminate the
                      problems?


                      We limited our review to reports issued by the Education, Commerce, and
No Evidence in OIG    Agriculture Offices of Inspector General (OIG) between October 1995 and
Reports of Systemic   March 1999 and did not review individual grantees. We did not find that
or Widespread         fraud, waste, and abuse are systemic or widespread problems for the
                      programs that could fund information technology for schools and libraries,
Problems              although some OIGs identified instances of such problems with individual
                      grantees. Table IV.1 includes information on each of the 17 OIG reports we
                      identified. The OIGs used different reporting styles—some issued single
                      reports to cover audits of multiple grants and some issued a single report
                      for each grant audited. Ten of the reports concerned a single
                      program—Commerce’s TIIAP. However, OIG officials stated, in testimony to
                      the Congress in May 1999, that none of the TIIAP studies identified major or
                      systemic problems with grant recipients.

                      Just two of the remaining seven reports we identified—an Education Star
                      Schools project and a Commerce PTFP project—reported significant
                      questioned costs or unapproved grantee spending. The Star Schools report
                      found significantly deficient management practices, including $1.7 million
                      of unsupported expenditures—such as nearly $700,000 in personnel and
                      fringe benefits for which there were no personnel activity records.
                      Education’s activities to eliminate the reported problems include efforts to
                      prosecute the grantee organization criminally and to debar it from further
                      federal funding. The PTFP report found that project officials had misused
                      grant funds by paying for project operating expenses rather than
                      equipment for colleges, as intended. Commerce pursued prosecution of
                      the grantee and program officials report they are monitoring grant
                      applications to preclude the grantee from obtaining further federal
                      funding. Table IV.1 presents, for each of the 17 reports, more detailed
                      information on findings, recommendations, and agency efforts to eliminate
                      identified problems.




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                                             Information Available on Potential Problems
                                             of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse




Table IV.1: Reports Identified
Program, reporting
organization, and report
date                           Objective of study             Findings
Programs that target technology
  Department of Education
Star Schools                  To determine whether the        The grantee was not in compliance with grant requirements and its
  Education OIG               grantee complied with the       management of the project was seriously deficient. The grantee failed to
  September 1997              terms and conditions of its     establish an adequate financial management system, demonstrate fiscal
                              grant                           responsibility, and provide sufficient services to the four partner cities
                                                              through which the grant was administered. Auditors reviewed $2.8 million
                                                              of the total $4.5 million awarded and found more than $316,000 used for
                                                              unallowable purposes, including $5,200 in overdrafts and returned check
                                                              charges; $1.7 million in unsupported costs such as $693,440 in personnel
                                                              and fringe benefits; and about $344,000 in inadequately supported costs.
                                                              Additionally, the grantee did not provide the required financial and
                                                              performance reports, including documentation supporting its 25 percent
                                                              matching expenditures, and did not obtain an independent audit.




  Department of Commerce
PTFP                          Audit of the program’s fiscal   The program criteria, procedures, and practices for soliciting, reviewing,
 Commerce OIG                 year 1997 procedures and        and selecting awards generally complied with statutory, departmental,
 March 1999                   practices for soliciting,       and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
                              reviewing, and selecting        requirements and appeared designed to result in merit-based awards.
                              applications for financial      However, for fiscal year 1997, program staff deviated from requirements
                              assistance; part of a           by adjusting application evaluation scores. Additionally, the selection
                              Commerce-wide review of         official added three applications to the program director’s list of
                              discretionary financial         recommended grantees without documenting the reasons for the specific
                              assistance programs             selections.
                              initiated at the request of
                              the Chairman of the Senate
                              Commerce, Science, and
                              Transportation Committee
PTFP                          To determine if the grantee     The grantee did not use all the $458,700 in grant funds for the intended
 Commerce OIG,                had misused grant funds         purpose of purchasing and installing telecommunications equipment at
 Investigations Division      awarded by NTIA                 several colleges. Instead, the grantee used the grant funds for daily
 Memorandum of                                                operating expenses and never fully paid the vendors that supplied
 Investigative Findings                                       $300,000 in equipment and installation.
 February 1999




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                                              Information Available on Potential Problems
                                              of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse




Recommendations                                                      Resolution



Education should initiate action to debar the grantee and its       In February 1998, Education issued a Program Determination
principal employees from further participation in federal programs. Letter to the grantee sustaining all OIG findings and seeking
                                                                    recovery of $1.6 million. The organization that comprises the
Education should require the grantee to make the appropriate        grantee filed for bankruptcy in March 1996. In June 1998,
refund for any funds received for which proper matching cannot      Education filed a claim for $1.6 million with the U.S. Bankruptcy
be established, refund $317,000 identified as used for unallowable Court, but payment is not expected.
purposes, provide proper documentation to support the costs
identified as unsupported and inadequately supported, and obtain The OIG Investigations Office conducted an investigation and
the required independent audit.                                     presented the case to criminally prosecute the grantee
                                                                    organization and related individuals, but in November 1998 an
                                                                    Assistant U.S. Attorney declined prosecution.

                                                                     According to an Education official, the Office of the General
                                                                     Counsel is planning to send a letter of debarment to the grantee.

                                                                     The OIG 1999-2000 Work Plan includes a proposal for an
                                                                     evaluation of the process used by various program offices to
                                                                     monitor grantees.


The Assistant Secretary should direct the PTFP staff to ensure that NTIA concurred with the finding and recommendations and stated
independent reviewers’ scores are not adjusted by program staff     that it has implemented the recommendations, starting with the
during the review process and require adequate documentation of fiscal year 1998 grant competition.
the basis for making awards that deviate from the program
director’s recommendations.




None                                                                 Commerce officials met with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to discuss
                                                                     both criminal and civil prosecution but the case was declined.
                                                                     According to an official, the program monitors grant applications to
                                                                     ensure that the same organization or any of its key officials do not
                                                                     obtain further grant funds. The agency received a settlement of
                                                                     about $3,000 after the grantee declared bankruptcy.
                                                                                                                             (continued)




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                                          Information Available on Potential Problems
                                          of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse




Program, reporting
organization, and report
date                       Objective of study             Findings
TIIAP                      Audit of program’s fiscal      Program procedures and practices for soliciting, reviewing, and selecting
  Commerce OIG             year 1997 procedures and       awards generally complied with statutory, departmental, and NTIA
  March 1999               practices for soliciting,      requirements and appeared designed to result in merit-based awards.
                           reviewing, and selecting       However, the selection official added nine and deleted seven applications
                           applications for financial     from the program director’s list of recommended grantees and did not
                           assistance; part of a          provide written documentation of the reasons for the deleted applications.
                           departmentwide review of
                           discretionary financial
                           assistance programs
                           initiated at the request of
                           the Chairman of the Senate
                           Commerce, Science, and
                           Transportation Committee
TIIAP                      To determine whether (1)     Auditors questioned $298,203 in project costs including $273,107 in
  Commerce OIG             costs incurred by the        contractual costs, $22,748 in indirect costs, $1,495 in equipment costs,
  September 1998           grantee were allowable,      and $853 in travel costs.
                           and (2) the grantee
                           complied with OMB
                           circulars, grant terms and
                           conditions, NTIA guidelines,
                           and other applicable laws
                           and regulations
TIIAP                      To determine whether the       The grantee generally met the goals of the grant and performed many of
  Commerce OIG             grantee had properly           the required tasks. However, without NTIA approval, it did not complete
  November 1997            administered the               two minor tasks: (1) the grantee discontinued use of an information
                           grant—specifically, (1) had    storage and retrieval tool proposed in the grant, and (2) the grantee did
                           made progress in meeting       not establish the cooperative agreements with local governments
                           objectives; (2) had claimed    proposed in the grant agreement. Additionally, it incurred $138,155 in
                           costs which were allowable,    questioned costs.
                           allocable, and reasonable;
                           and (3) had complied with
                           the financial terms and
                           conditions of the award and
                           applicable laws and
                           regulations
TIIAP                      To perform a financial         The grantee’s procurement system did not comply with federal standards.
  Commerce OIG             compliance review to           The grantee failed to follow and implement required procedures and
  September 1997           determine (1) the              improperly incurred and charged $227,564 to the grant.
                           allowability of costs
                           incurred by the grantee, (2)
                           whether the grantee had
                           complied with applicable
                           guidance and the grant
                           terms, and (3) whether the
                           project was meeting its
                           intended goals




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                                             Information Available on Potential Problems
                                             of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse




Recommendations                                                     Resolution
The Assistant Secretary should ensure that the basis for making     NTIA concurred with the finding and recommendation and stated
awards that deviate from the program director’s recommendations     that it has implemented the recommendation, starting with the
are adequately documented.                                          fiscal year 1998 grant competition.




Commerce Director of the Office of Executive Assistance             According to a Commerce official, Commerce and the OIG have
Management (OEAM) should disallow $298,203 in questioned            not yet agreed on a final resolution of the audit.
costs and recover the resulting $106,107 in excessive grant
disbursements.




The OEAM Director should assess the effect of the two grant tasks   After further review by NTIA and the Commerce Grants Office,
that were not implemented and either issue a grant modification     Commerce reinstated all costs associated with the findings as part
eliminating the two tasks or require the grantee to complete the    of the grant.
tasks. Also, the OEAM Director should recover $138,155 in
questioned costs and disallow $64,864 in excess grant
disbursements as well as require the grantee to use appropriate
accounting cost categories.




The OEAM Director should require the grantee to implement and       After further review by NTIA and the Commerce Grants Office,
follow procurement procedures that meet federal standards for all   Commerce reinstated all questioned costs as part of the grant.
contracts involving federal funds.                                  Commerce will require a written certification from the grantee that
                                                                    all future contract modifications will be formalized with the
                                                                    appropriate paperwork in accordance with federal procurement
                                                                    standards.




                                                                                                                             (continued)




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                                          Information Available on Potential Problems
                                          of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse




Program, reporting
organization, and report
date                       Objective of study              Findings
TIIAP                      To determine whether the        The grantee did not achieve two key goals—it fell short of its goal to
  Commerce OIG             grantee had (1) properly        attract the number of proposed subscribers and it established only two
  August 1997              administered the                branch offices, rather than five as stated in the proposal. Additionally, the
                           grant—specifically, had         grantee did not have all nonfederal matching funds on hand when federal
                           made progress in meeting        funds were released, did not provide them at the same rate government
                           its goals; (2) complied with    funds were expended, and could not adequately support $266,306 of
                           the terms and conditions of     claimed matching funds. Finally, the grantee incurred questioned project
                           the grant; and (3) recorded     costs of $297,329.
                           costs for the grant in
                           accordance with OMB
                           guidance
TIIAP                      To perform a financial          $32,943 in project costs had been improperly claimed including $27,843
  Commerce OIG             compliance review of the        of in-kind contributions and $5,100 in inadequately supported costs. The
  August 1997              award; specifically, to         federal share of the questioned costs was $24,346. The alleged misuse of
                           determine (1) the               funds was unsubstantiated.
                           allowability of costs
                           incurred by the grantee,
                           and (2) whether the grantee
                           has complied with the
                           applicable OMB circulars,
                           NTIA guidelines, and the
                           grant terms and conditions;
                           additionally, to follow up on
                           a complaint alleging fraud
                           and misuse of federal funds
                           by an organization
                           connected with the award
TIIAP                      To determine whether the    The grantee improperly valued about $1.5 million in matching costs. The
  Commerce OIG             grantee complied with the   costs include improperly valued and inadequately supported third-party
  February1997             terms and conditions of the in-kind contributions, including computer equipment and other items.
                           grant agreement, OMB cost
                           principles, and
                           administrative requirements
TIIAP                      To determine the grantee’s      The grantee’s records were inadequate to verify about $639,000 of the
  Commerce OIG             compliance with the             $831,000 in claimed matching costs. Additionally, the state is not
  September 1996           conditions of the grant         inventorying equipment contributed to the project for its in-kind grant
                           agreement and other             match in state accounting records.
                           requirements and to
                           evaluate the project’s
                           progress and ability to meet
                           its objectives
TIIAP                      To determine the                After more than a year and having drawn down more than half the grant
  Commerce OIG             allowability of costs           funds, the grantee did not have the computer software program needed to
  September 1996           incurred by the grantee to      operate the project. The grantee cannot account for or support $407,000
                           determine whether it had        of its in-kind contribution claims for the grant award.
                           complied with applicable
                           guidance and grant terms
                           and conditions, and to
                           perform a program results
                           review of the project




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                                                 Information Available on Potential Problems
                                                 of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse




Recommendations                                                           Resolution
The grants officer should evaluate the feasibility of requiring the       Commerce disallowed $77,496 in questioned costs. These costs
grantee to complete all grant goals, require the grantee to submit        will be removed from the final project costs and the grantee’s
supporting documentation for all matching share contributions,            accounting records will be reconciled. According to a Commerce
and disallow $297,329 in questioned costs. Additionally, the grants       official, the grantee is in the process of closing the project and
officer should recover $94,336 in excess disbursements resulting          Commerce’s Grants Office is waiting for final financial reports to
from questioned costs and recover the appropriate portion of any          determine if funds need to be recovered.
disallowed matching share contributions.




For future grants to grantee, OEAM should include in the                  Commerce upheld $22,553 in disallowed costs and, according to
agreement a requirement that support documentation for all                a Commerce official, the organization’s financial records were
claimed in-kind contributions be provided to the grants officer with      adjusted at the closeout of the project to remove the disallowed
each request for reimbursement. OEAM should also disallow                 costs. In any future grants to the organization, Commerce will
$32,943 in questioned costs and recover $24,346 in excess grant           require support documentation for all claimed in-kind contributions.
disbursements.




NTIA should (1) disallow about $1.5 million in improperly claimed         The grantee generally agreed with the draft audit findings and
in-kind contributions, (2) recover almost $195,000 in excess grant        resolved some issues, as reflected in the final report. According to
disbursements, and (3) require the grantee to develop a verifiable        a program official, after further review of information submitted by
basis to value the use of the in-kind contributions.                      the grantee in response to the final audit report, the OIG rescinded
                                                                          its recommendation and all costs were reinstated as part of the
                                                                          grant.
Commerce should suspend payments or reimbursements to the                 After further review by NTIA and the Commerce Grants Office,
grantee until the state auditor certifies that the state can verify the   $591,121 of the questioned costs were reinstated. According to a
value of in-kind contributions and that the state has inventoried the     Commerce official, the grantee had excess funds to draw from the
equipment contributed to the project for its in-kind match. The           grant and the remaining $47,414 in disallowed costs were not
department should also disallow about $639,000 in questioned              included as part of the final closeout of the project.
costs and recover about $74,000 in resulting excess grant
disbursements.

NTIA should (1) decide within 30 days whether the project can be          According to a Commerce official, the project was suspended and
salvaged at no additional cost to the government, (2) continue the        subsequently allowed to expire. Commerce established a payment
suspension of payments or reimbursement to the grantee until              plan for the grantee to return funds associated with the disallowed
claimed in-kind contributions are adequately supported, (3) amend         costs, and the grantee is current with scheduled payments.
the grant’s special terms and conditions to include requirements
that will protect the government’s interest, and (4) disallow
$471,818 in questioned costs and recover $165,973 in excess
grant disbursements.

                                                                                                                                  (continued)


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Program, reporting
organization, and report
date                          Objective of study              Findings
TIIAP                         To perform an interim cost      The grantee improperly spent $41,000 to upgrade its own computer
  Commerce OIG                audit and to determine          system, which was not within the project’s approved budget, and violated
  October 1995                whether the grantee             several federal procurement standards in awarding a $50,000 sole-source
                              complied with applicable        contract.
                              OMB circulars, NTIA
                              guidelines, and the grant
                              agreement’s terms and
                              conditions
  Department of Agriculture
Distance Learning and         Study of four program grant     Grantees were eligible, funds were used properly, and the matching
  Telemedicine Grants         projects evaluating the         requirements were met. The program appears successful in funding
  Agriculture OIG             effectiveness of the            projects as intended by legislation. However, two grantees did not
  March 1999                  programs, eligibility of the    disburse funds to vendors in a timely manner, resulting in increased
                              grantees, proper uses of        interest costs totaling about $17,000. Additionally, the four projects had
                              funds, and adequacy of          not filed all required financial status and performance activity reports.
                              oversight activities            Finally, equipment was not properly accounted for and grantees were not
                                                              aware of federal property management standards for equipment
                                                              purchased with grant funds.
Programs that do not target technology
  Department of Education
Bilingual Education           To determine how officials      Of the seven grants reviewed, none had been reviewed by the Office of
  Capacity and                ensure that bilingual           Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs (OBEMLA) or the state
  Demonstration Grants        program objectives are          education agency (SEA), and three of the seven were not being
  Education OIG               being met;                      implemented appropriately. Because of the lack of monitoring, the
  June 1997                   to determine if the students’   inappropriate implementation continued undetected. On the other hand,
                              native languages were           students’ native languages were not being used excessively in the
                              being used excessively in       projects and controls over language use appear adequate.
                              the projects and whether
                              controls over language use
                              appear adequate
Title I Grants to Local       To determine what               In the 36 LEAs visited (in 6 states), an average of 92 percent of the dollars
  Education Agencies and      percentage of Title I, Part A   for the two programs reached the schools during the 1996-97 school year.
  Perkins Act Vocational      and Secondary School            Types of expenditures were categorized as salaries and benefits (Title I,
  Education Basic Grants      Vocational Education            82%; Vocational Education, 52%); materials and equipment (Title I, 9%;
  to States                   program dollars were spent      Vocational Education, 39%); professional development (Title I, 2%;
  Education OIG               on school-level activities,     Vocational Education, 5%); support services (Title I, 5%; Vocational
  June 1998                   and to identify the types of    Education, 3%), and indirect costs (Title I, 2%; Vocational Education, 1%).
                              expenditures for these two
                              programs at the LEA and         All six SEAs complied with the established caps on administration
                              school levels; additionally,    expenses. Two LEAs used a significantly larger amount of Vocational
                              to determine whether the        Education dollars to cover administration costs than the average of 3
                              SEA had complied with the       percent.
                              established caps for using
                              federal dollars to cover
                              administration costs




                                             Page 58                           GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                               Appendix IV
                                               Information Available on Potential Problems
                                               of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse




Recommendations                                                        Resolution
NTIA should reject the grantee’s request to expand the project’s       After further review by NTIA and the Commerce Grants Office,
budget and include upgrading its own computer system, and              Commerce reinstated all questioned costs as part of the grant. The
should withdraw the agency’s approval of the sole-source contract      grantee was cautioned that future sole-source contracting must be
and disallow all costs charged to the project under that contract.     clearly justified and documented.




Rural Utilities Service should (1) monitor grantees’ disbursement of   Agriculture officials agreed to develop procedures to monitor
grant funds to assure timely disbursements, (2) develop policies       grantees’ disbursement of grant funds, ensure grantees comply
and procedures to ensure grantees comply with reporting and            with reporting requirements, and ensure grantees account for
oversight requirements, and (3) develop policies and procedures        equipment purchased grant funds in accordance with federal
to ensure that grantees comply with federal property management        standards.
standards.




The Director of OBEMLA should work with appropriate officials to       OBEMLA did not agree with the recommendation to clarify the
(1) revise its legislation to clarify the need and requirement for     legislation regarding federal monitoring but indicated that it better
federal monitoring reviews, and (2) develop and implement a            serves grantees through technical assistance conferences
monitoring program to provide for thorough on-site grant reviews       because of the numbers that can be reached compared with
and documentation of the results.                                      on-site reviews of grants. OBEMLA did concur with the
                                                                       recommendation to develop and implement a monitoring program
                                                                       and has taken steps in that direction.



None.                                                                  The OIG issued a separate Action Memorandum to Education
                                                                       regarding the two LEAs that used more than 3 percent of their
                                                                       Vocational Education dollars on administration costs. The
                                                                       memorandum recommended that the Office of Adult and
                                                                       Vocational Education review the regulations and guidance
                                                                       associated with administration costs and revise them as
                                                                       necessary, as well as review the 1996 to 1997 expenditures of the
                                                                       two grantees.




                                                                                                                                 (continued)




                                               Page 59                          GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                           Appendix IV
                                           Information Available on Potential Problems
                                           of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse




Program, reporting
organization, and report
date                       Objective of study               Findings
Title I Grants to Local    To determine (1) the extent      The Chapter 1 program is closely monitored by both the state department
  Education Agencies       of monitoring performed of       and the city board, has placed heavy emphasis on identifying and
  (formerly Chapter 1)     Chapter 1 (Title I) by a state   rewarding exemplary programs, and strongly encourages less successful
  Education OIG            department of education          programs to emulate them. However, the current recognition program,
  February 1996            and a city board of              which is based solely on annual changes in standardized test scores,
                           education, (2) the               does not consider other performance factors and may be rewarding
                           availability of data             schools whose students are still failing to reach grade level proficiency or
                           supporting school and            to meet state standards, despite improvements in test scores.
                           student performance to
                           permit identification and
                           recognition of exemplary
                           programs, and (3) whether
                           systems were in place to
                           permit the replication of
                           programs in
                           lower-performing schools




                                           Page 60                           GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
                                              Appendix IV
                                              Information Available on Potential Problems
                                              of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse




Recommendations                                                      Resolution
The state department should review the city board of education’s     According to the report, both the city board of education and the
Chapter 1 reward and recognition systems to ensure that these        state education department agreed with the finding and stated in
systems better reflect the actual success of the city’s schools in   their response that action has been taken to improve the Title I
enabling students to reach grade level proficiency and/or to meet    recognition process. The recognition program is no longer based
state-developed standards.                                           solely on annual changes in standardized test scores.




                                              Page 61                        GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix V

Comments From the Department of
Agriculture




             Page 62   GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix V
Comments From the Department of
Agriculture




Page 63                     GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix VI

Comments From the Department of
Commerce




              Page 64   GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix VI
Comments From the Department of
Commerce




Page 65                     GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix VI
Comments From the Department of
Commerce




Page 66                     GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix VI
Comments From the Department of
Commerce




Page 67                     GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix VII

Comments From the Department of
Education




               Page 68   GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix VII
Comments From the Department of
Education




Page 69                     GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix VIII

Comments From the National Endowment
for the Humanities




                Page 70   GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
Appendix VIII
Comments From the National Endowment
for the Humanities




Page 71                    GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
           Appendix VIII
           Comments From the National Endowment
           for the Humanities




(104974)   Page 72                    GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding
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