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COMMUNITY SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittiee, I
appreciate the opportunity to present the 1979 budget re
quest for the Community Services Administration.
In his Inaugural Address last year, President Carter
stated, "We reject the prospect of failure or mediocrity or
an inferior quality of life for any person." From my posi.
tion as Director of the Community Services Administration,
I have viewed that statement as a commitment to a vigorous
new effort to combat poverty in the United States.
happy to say this view is supported by the President's
budget request for CSA for Fiscal Year 1979.
The requested amount, $538 million, is the highest
in 6 years and supports that commitment.
The process by
which that sum was determined indicates a careful study of
consolidate gains expected during Fiscal 1978. Additional strength for the CAA network will come from the emphasis
we intend to put on technical assistance and evaluation.
Funds for these necessities have been almost nonexistent
In the FY '79 budget, they total $6.1 million.
Locally planned and operated Community Action Programs
have long since proved to be the most effective mechanism for
facilitating the delivery of services to low-income families
funded by our Agency have produced such landmarks in human
service programming as Head Start, Legal Services and Foster
The requested R&D budget figure of $18.4
million will permit CSA to reopen its laboratory, so to
speak, to test other innovative concepts.
Thus far, I have spoken only of requested increases.
In the President's plan for CSA, some programs will be cut
back--not because they are no longer important, but because
conditions now indicate that CSA can and should share their
continuation with others.
Weatherization, for example,
rightfully belongs under the jurisdiction of the Department
Our Agency pioneered in this area during the
fuel crisis of 1973, long before energy became a Cabinet
With the $10 million requested for Energy
Conservation, CSA will still be able to carry on with
technical assistance, crisis intervention and demonstration
projects related to the energy needs of low-income Americans.
Decreased Federal funding for State Economic Opportunity
Offices is, quite simply, a recognition of the states' respon
sibility to share equally in the cost of this program.
The lower amount for nutrition programs in the new
budget is based on the increased outreach efforts by the
Department of Agriculture which reduces the necessity for
the CSA to provide these same services.
The largest decrease in funds for Fiscal '79 will
occur within CSA's. Economic Development Program.
in part a response to concerns expressed by some members of
Congress and in part a desire by CSA to concentrate on pro-.
ductive programs while exploring alternative approaches to
the goals of comumunity economic development.
To the extent
possible, CSA will also assist its grantees in this field
to locate other sources of financing.
Of course, Mr. Chairman, agency directors always
think their particular endeavors deserve higher appropria
However, I sincerely believe that the $538 million
requested by President Carter will enable CSA to meet its
obligations to Congress, to the taxpayers and, above all,
to the 26 million Americans who stand in need of our
Ms. OLIVAREZ. There has been some concern over the way the agency had been operating. The Government Operations Committee issued a report.
Mr. FLOOD. Yes.
Ms. OLIVAREZ. I would like to briefly recap for the committee what it is we have been doing in the last six months since we have been fully staffed.
Mr. Frood. You are fully staffed?
Ms. OLIVAREZ. Fully staffed in assistant directors and other policy positions.
Reorganization of the agency, as you probably know, was a major concern in 1977. Although the OMB had approved an appropriate reorganization chart in 1976, it was determined that further clarification was necessary to reflect from a management standpoint the priorities of the new administration. An evaluation and review was performed of the existing structure and functions both at the headquarters offices and at the 10 regional offices.
The evaluation resulted in a Reorganization of the Washington office, and that reorganization is now structurally in place. A detailed reorganization of the 10 regional offices is underway and will be completed by early spring of this year. At the end of 1977, CSA had a total of 941 permanent employees on the rolls, 375 of which were assigned to the headquarters office and 566 employees located throughout the 10 regional offices.
The permanent position ceiling assigned to CSA at the end of 1979 is 1,015. The current reorganization plan calls for 378 positions in headquarters and 637 distributed in the 10 regions. The additional 71 positions in the regions will provide additional field representatives and efforts will be directed toward increasing our grantee monitoring, our training, and technical assistance and evaluation capabilities. Prior to arriving at a final organization chart, a detailed assessment process was made in 1977 which included evaluations through personal interviews with every employee in the regional offices and most headquarters offices.
Throughout 1977 and continuing in 1978, the agency has coordinated this reorganization effort with the Civil Service Commission. The commission has been of invaluable assistance to the agency. with its guidance and expertise in molding organization structure to be efficient and perform the duties of CSA while at the same time holding down to a minimum actions that may be adverse to individuals.
In attaining the goal of increased employee standards of performance, a new series of training programs was developed in 1977 and continues in 1978. Programs for CSA field representatives were designed to ensure that they were well equipped to do the job in a correct manner. Also similar training programs for CSA supervisors in the area of labor-management relations were designed, and several training sessions were conducted in the first quarter of 1978.
The Deputy Director and I hold periodic meetings with supervisors at headquarters office. This was started last year and continues this year.
The meetings are designed to discuss problems that anyone might have concerning agency policy and management practices. Also the meetings provide an opportunity for restatement and clarification of the responsibilities of the supervisor.
MONITORING, REVIEW AND EVALUATION Several new initiatives were begun in 1977 on monitoring, review and evaluation efforts with respect to the functioning of programs the agency administers. For example, major evaluations of CSA national emphasis programs such as community food and nutrition, rural housing and the emergency energy program, were begun. We developed a guidance manual on how to meet the CSA standards of program effectiveness. It has been published and sent to all grantees. A plan has been established so that all community action agencies will be the subject of an evaluation on a rotating basis.
TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Regional offices will provide a regular program of training for grantees. CSA auditors will do a training and technical assistance session for auditors who serve community action agencies. CSA regional offices will also conduct training and technical assistance for Community Action Agency boards, executive boards and selected staff members. These sessions will stress the responsibilities and duties that these individuals have, and various management models that have been successful in the past will be utilized.
There will also be training sessions conducted by the regional offices in property management, personnel management and accounting systems. The agency is conducting right now an extensive study of its regional office procedures. The new system will reduce the clerical work that has been imposed on field representatives so they can spend more time in the field with grantees.
Prior to the issuance of the Government Operations Committee report, CSA had already placed a higher priority on its monitoring efforts by reorganizing the formerly separate inspection, external audit, human rights and general counsel functions into one office to serve as the enforcement arm of the agency. This office is known as the Office of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, and is headed by a Presidentially appointed Assistant Director, who has been delegated the responsibility for insuring that CSA law and regulations are scrupulously followed by CSA employees and grantees. The new office will receive substantial increases in staffing in order to carry out its mission.
In our 1979 request we expect to continue managerial and administrative improvements in the operation of CSA programs, The increased program administration request in 1979 of $617,000 consists of salary and benefits costs associated with full year utilization of permanent employees who will be hired during 1978 under the reorganization plan, plus within-grade and career ladder pro motions. This will be offset partially by a reduction of 22 positions not required after completion of the reorganization. The reduction of the permanent position ceiling of 1,037 to 1,015 in 1979 consists