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). Page 1 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding B-281492 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. Page 2 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding B-281492 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. Page 3 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding B-281492 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. Page 4 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding B-281492 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 Page 5 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding B-281492 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. Page 6 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding B-281492 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 Page 7 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding B-281492 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 Page 10 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding 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) Page 33 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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. Page 34 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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). Page 35 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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) Page 36 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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) Page 37 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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) Page 38 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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) Page 39 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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) Page 40 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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 Page 41 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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. Page 42 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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) Page 43 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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. Page 44 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix II Potential for Duplication 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 Page 45 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix III 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. Page 46 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix III 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. Page 47 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix III 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 Page 48 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix III 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. Page 49 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix III Coordination Efforts 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). Page 50 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding 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. Page 51 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix IV 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 Page 52 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix IV 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) Page 53 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 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 Page 54 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix IV 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) Page 55 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 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 Page 56 GAO/HEHS-99-133 Telecommunications Technology Funding Appendix IV 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) Page 57 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 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 Ordering Information The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. 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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)