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Fiscal Year 2007 Community Services Block Grant Program Report to Congress

Published: July 20, 2012
Audience:
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG)
Tags:
authority, eligibility, guidelines, participant, uses

CSBG State AssessmentsFY 2007
Appendix

State Assessments (SAs)
The statute governing the Community Services Block Grant stipulates that the Secretary conduct evaluations in several States each fiscal year regarding the use of funds received under the CSBG Act.  This includes compliance with the provisions of the law regarding applications for CSBG funds and public hearings on the proposed use of such funds; and compliance with assurances (1) through (13) in Section 676 of the Act.  Further, the CSBG statute requires that each State designate a lead agency to administer the CSBG program.  The lead agency provides oversight of local eligible entities that administer programs in the communities. 

In FY 2007, to fulfill its responsibility to conduct evaluations, OCS conducted reviews of the use of FY 2006 CSBG funds by the States of Florida, Massachusetts, and Ohio.  In addition, OCS conducted reviews of the use of FY 2005 CSBG funds by the States of Maryland and West Virginia.  When States conduct monitoring assessments of the eligible entities, they review the latest complete fiscal year of an eligible entities’ performance.  Therefore, depending on when the State conducted the monitoring visit, the review could consist of performance information from 2005 or 2006.

OCS also used its training and technical assistance authority to provide for and focus on leadership and governance, financial management training, and coordination among other Federal funding sources.  The purpose of this effort was to promote the continued focus, effectiveness, and accountability of States and the network of eligible entities.  OCS found that some States were working closely with specific agencies within their State to strengthen performance management, administrative standards, financial management obligations, or other State requirements.  The assessments applied to CSBG-funded programs, as well as the overall health of the entire entity.  Eligible entities make a variety of financial and management decisions each year that may impact multiple funding sources rather than just a single program.  Therefore, it is possible that a CSBG program could experience fiscal problems associated with financial irregularities or disallowed costs uncovered in other Federal or State funding sources.  OCS collected information related to State activities that may enable early identification of local agency problem areas and preventive strategies (i.e., board member training, program governance, financial management, and fiscal oversight).  This helped OCS to assure the smooth operation of the CSBG program at the State and local levels.

The following State Assessments for the States of Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and West Virginia include information about the States’ program operations and sub-grantee operations.

State of Florida
State Assessment Summary

From July 31 to August 9, 2007, a State Assessment was conducted in the State of Florida regarding activities implemented with FY 2006 CSBG funds.  A review of the information collected during various interviews and documentation received during and after the review determined that the State of Florida was compliant with the CSBG Act.

Program Operations
Florida has designated the Department of Community Affairs (FL DCA) as the lead agency to administer its CSBG program.  The Florida CSBG program provides funding, technical assistance and support to 32 multi-purpose eligible entities serving 64 counties throughout the State.  Each eligible entity provides an array of services according to community action plans formulated to address local needs.  Services may include housing, energy assistance, nutrition, employment and training, transportation, family development, child care, health care, emergency food and shelter, and domestic violence prevention services.  Services also may include money management and micro-business development. 

The largest groups of clients served were African American, high school graduates/GED recipients, single adults, renters, and those with family incomes up to 50 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines.  The following table illustrates the number of reported characteristics of individuals and families served throughout the State.

Client Characteristics and Statistics for the State of Florida

CSBG Client Characteristics and Statistics Reported by State

persons

Hispanic or Latino

37,342

African American

124,123

White

75,213

Other

21,364

Multi-race

975

Education:  Years of Schooling by Number of Persons

PERSONS

0-8 Years

19,857

9-12 Years, Non-Graduates

22,335

High School Graduates/GED

38,506

12+ Some Postsecondary

7,786

2 or 4 Year College Graduates

3,875

Family Structure by Number of Families

PERSONS

Single Parent Female

37,877

Single Parent Male

1,395

Two Parent Household

13,049

Single Person, No Children

20,469

Two Adults, No Children

6,866

Family Housing by Number of Families

PERSONS

Own

17,740

Rent

57,726

Homeless

2,387

Level of Family Income as a Percentage of Federal Poverty Guidelines by Number of Families

PERSONS

Up to 50%

27,593

51% to 75%

24,248

76% to 100%

17,767

101% to 125%

13,565

126% to 150%

6,229

151% or more

3,374

 

 

Uses of CSBG Funds
State officials and eligible entities reported the following program activities associated with FY 2006 CSBG funds:

Employment Programs
Florida reported spending $1,957,145 in CSBG funding to support a range of services designed to assist low-income individuals in obtaining and maintaining employment.

Education Programs
Florida reported spending $2,281,019 in CSBG funds to provide education services.

Housing Programs
Florida reported spending $1,781,396 for CSBG-coordinated housing programs to improve the living environments of low-income individuals and families.

Emergency Services Programs
Florida reported spending $3,306,116 for emergency services to combat many kinds of crises.

Nutrition Programs
Florida reported spending $986,924 in CSBG funds to support nutrition programs.

Self-Sufficiency Programs
Florida reported spending $4,458,602 on self-sufficiency programs to assist families in becoming more financially independent.

Health Programs
Florida reported spending $386,240 on CSBG-funded health initiatives that were designed to identify and combat a variety of health problems in the communities served. 

Income Management Programs
Florida reported spending $665,102 in CSBG funds on income management programs.

Linkages
Florida reported spending $1,662,157 on linkage initiatives to mobilize and coordinate community responses to poverty.

Programs for Youth and Seniors
Florida reported spending $1,606,611 on programs serving seniors, and $1,333,798 on programs serving youth.  Services noted under these categories were targeted exclusively to children and youth from ages six to 17 or persons over 55 years of age. 

Eligible Entities Monitoring and Assessments
The State is required to perform full onsite monitoring reviews at least once every three years for each eligible entity.  In addition, the State conducts onsite fiscal monitoring of its 32 eligible entities on an annual basis.  The State’s monitoring visits address financial management, planning and evaluation, programs and services, human resource management, community relations, and Board of Directors’ compliance with the CSBG Act.  OCS SA team members visited the following seven eligible entities:

Broward County Community Action Agency
Broward County Community Action Agency (BCCAA) is administered by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners under the Broward County Human Services Department.  BCCAA’s annual 2005 CSBG budget was $1,311,861.  The agency operates a CSBG funded Self-Sufficiency Case Management Program.  This program assists low-income individuals and families in setting goals, learning skills, and accessing services they need to become self-sufficient.  In addition, BCCAA operates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which makes direct payments to Florida Power and Light for households that have an income below 150 percent of the poverty level. 

According to the State’s FY 2005 monitoring report, BCCAA had four findings and four areas of concern.  The SA team evaluated the finding and concerns and supported the State’s conclusions.  BCCAA encountered numerous challenges during the year which contributed to a number of the findings and concerns.  For example, the agency lost their main office as a result of a hurricane and had to operate from four different sites before establishing a permanent location in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  The SA team recommended that the State provide further guidance and technical assistance to BCCAA and that an action plan be developed to ensure progress in addressing the findings and concerns.  The State has provided technical assistance and the State and BCCAA have worked in partnership to strengthen BCCAA’s administration of the CSBG program and to ensure BCCAA’s success.   

Capital Area Community Action Agency
The Capital Area Community Action Agency, Inc. (CACAA) was established in 1965 and currently serves seven counties (Leon, Calhoun, Jefferson, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, and Liberty).  CACAA manages a variety of Federal grants to help low-income families overcome crisis needs, and gain skills, confidence, and community support to become self-sufficient.  The agency’s annual operating budget in 2006 was $6.2 million, which included $537,244 of CSBG funds.  In addition to CSBG, the agency administers:  on-the-job training, small business development, individual development accounts, home energy assistance, Project Share, Project Quincy, direct emergency assistance, weatherization, emergency food assistance, emergency shelter, and Head Start.

In the State’s FY 2006 monitoring report, it identified two findings related to the tripartite board requirements for CACAA.  The SA team learned that the agency has difficulty recruiting and retaining low-income representation.  This was partly due to a lack of understanding of the roles and responsibilities of being a board member.  The SA team recommended mini-training opportunities throughout the service area that address board member roles and responsibilities.  The team also recommended that CACAA seek additional technical assistance from the State and other CSBG resources.  The SA team recommended that the agency modify its current property policy to include a property inventory system.

Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners
The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners administers funding from the CSBG Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and other Federal programs specifically tailored to assist low-income residents of Hillsborough County.  Hillsborough County has a population of approximately 999,000 and nearly one-third of its households reported earning less than $25,000.  The agency administers programs that address employment, education, income management, housing, emergency services, nutrition, linkages, self-sufficiency, and health. 

According to the State’s November 2005 monitoring report, a number of findings were identified concerning tripartite board composition and filling vacancies.  The SA team recommended that the State give specific technical assistance to address the findings.  The team also recommended that the State provide training and technical assistance on case management and consistent eligibility determination.  The agency’s financial accounting and management information system was found to be adequate for the accounting, expending, and safeguarding of CSBG funds.

Manatee Opportunity Council
The Manatee Opportunity Council (MOC), located in Bradenton, Florida, was founded in 1968.  The mission of MOC is to “help low-income residents become and remain self-sufficient.”  MOC’s service area for the CSBG program includes Manatee, Hardee, and DeSoto counties.  The agency’s annual CSBG budget is $388,015.  MOC operates 17 programs that address the needs of the community and its client base, including self-sufficiency, energy assistance, homelessness, housing, weatherization, direct care services for seniors, child care, and pre-school.

According to the State’s FY 2006 monitoring report, deficiencies were identified regarding board composition, personnel, eligibility determination, and performance outcomes.  The SA team conducted a review of the concerns and concurs with the State’s assessment of MOC.  The extent of board issues, missing documents, and the need for a standing governance committee suggests that MOC lacks adequate internal controls and should be monitored closely by the State.  The SA team requested that the State submit periodic progress reports to the Office of Community Services.  A review of fiscal records and related operations found the system in place adequate for the accounting, expending, and safeguarding of CSBG funds.

Miami-Dade County Community Action Agency
The Miami-Dade County Community Action Agency (MDCCAA) is located in downtown Miami, Florida, with four satellite offices spread throughout the county.  Established in 1965, MDCCAA provides services that help low-income individuals and families gain self-sufficiency and economic independence.  MDCCAA administers a full range of programs, including single family home rehabilitation, weatherization, rental assistance, energy conservation, hurricane shutters, home energy assistance, family and child empowerment, South Dade Adolescent Success Program, FATHERS Project, Greater Miami Service Corps, community enrichment centers, transportation assistance, self help computer training and employment, Head Start and Early Head Start, Safe Start, services for immigrants, meals for the elderly, Meals on Wheels, and Pine Island After School Program.

According to the State’s FY 2006 monitoring report, problems exist related to board composition and household income documentation.  The SA team recommended that additional board training be conducted.  Also, staff should receive training and technical assistance regarding the appropriateness of completing the intake application thoroughly and accurately.  The SA team examined the financial management system and found that it was adequate, complete, and up-to-date.

Miccosukee Corporation (Miccosukee Tribe of Indians)
The Miccosukee Corporation is a Tribal entity that serves the Miccosukee reservation located in Miami-Dade County.  The corporation has an annual budget of $4,051,227 that includes $120,967 of CSBG funds.  The Miccosukee Corporation provides employment, education, emergency assistance, nutrition, and self-sufficiency assistance. 

The State’s monitoring report for FY 2006 had a number of findings and one concern.  The SA team reviewed the State’s reports, interviewed Miccosukee Corporation staff, and reviewed numerous documents.  The SA team recommended that the Miccosukee Corporation and State work jointly to address tripartite board composition.  The organization should establish goals for Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) and strengthen agency procedures and provide technical assistance on adhering to State CSBG program requirements.  The SA team also recommended that the State make the necessary adjustments to its procedures to help assure that the Miccosukee Corporation receives results of monitoring visits in a timely manner.

Northeast Florida Community Action Agency, Inc.
The Northeast Florida Community Action Agency, Inc. (NFCAA) is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.  It has two outreach offices that annually serve low-income individuals and families in seven counties in Northeast Florida.  The NFCAA provides a broad range of program services, including self-sufficiency, vulnerable population services, home energy assistance, crisis assistance, weather related or supply shortage, emergency food assistance, job training, and employment.

The State conducted a monitoring visit in December 2005.  The SA team interviewed NFCAA officials and reviewed files and records, the State’s monitoring report, the 2006 A-133 Audit, and prior year audit reports.  No audit findings were found related to the CSBG program.  The SA team recommended that the agency request assistance from the State regarding board training and development.