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Oregon Housing and Community Services Department Program Duplication Overlap and Fragmentation Audit

Oregon Housing and Community Services Department Program Duplication Overlap and Fragmentation Audit

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Published by Statesman Journal
Oregon Housing and Community Services Department Program Duplication Overlap and Fragmentation Audit
Oregon Housing and Community Services Department Program Duplication Overlap and Fragmentation Audit

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Published by: Statesman Journal on Aug 01, 2013
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09/10/2013

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Secretary of State Audit Report
 
Kate Brown, Secretary of State
Gary Blackmer, Director, Audits Division
Report
 
Number
 
2013
16
 
July
 
2013
 
OHCSD
 
Programs
 
Page
 
1
 
Oregon
 
Housing
 
and
 
Community
 
Services
 
Department:
 
Program
 
Duplication,
 
Overlap
 
and
 
Fragmentation
 
TheOregonHousingandCommunityServicesDepartment(Department)administersawidearrayof49programstohelplower‐incomeOregoniansobtainquality,safeandaffordablehousingandbecomeself‐sufficient.AsOregon’shousingfinanceagency,theDepartmentawardstaxcredits,andprovidesavarietyofgrantsandloansforthedevelopment,acquisition,andrehabilitationofsinglefamilyandmulti‐familyhousing.TheDepartmentisalsoresponsibleforadministeringmanyotherfederalandstateanti‐povertyprograms,suchasfoodandrentassistanceprograms.Inthepast,theDepartmentuseddistributionsofavailablerevenuesfromhousingbond‐financedloanprogramstosubsidizeadministrativecostsoftheotherprograms.However,becausetheserevenueshavedecreasedsignificantlyduetoeconomicfactors,administeringtheotherprogramsisbecomingfiscallyunsustainablefortheDepartment.Inresponse,theGovernor’s2013‐15budgetrecommendsoneyearoffundingandcallsfortheDepartmenttodevelopaplantoimproveitsservicedeliverymodeltoaddressthefiscalchallenges.Theobjectiveofourauditwastodetermineifduplication,overlaporfragmentationexistsamongtheprogramstheDepartmentadministersand/oramongtheseprogramsandsimilarprogramsadministeredbyotherstateagencies.OurreviewisbaseduponmethodstheU.S.GovernmentAccountabilityOffice(GAO)hasusedinanalysesoffederalprograms,includingusingGAO’sdefinitionsofduplication,overlapandfragmentationappliedtostateprograms.
 
Duplicationoccurswhentwoormoreprogramsprovidethesameservicestothesamebeneficiaries.Forexample,theDepartment’sLowIncomeRentalHousingAssistanceandHOMETenantBasedAssistanceprogramsbothproviderentassistancetoverylow‐incometenants.
 
Overlapoccurswhentwoormoreprogramshavesimilarprogrammissionsorobjectives,orprovidesimilarservices.Additionaloverlapcanoccurbetweentheseprogramswhentheytargetsimilarbeneficiariesand/orusesimilardeliverymethods.Forinstance,theDepartment’sEmergencySolutionsGrantprogramoverlapswiththeprogramsnoted
Summary
 
 
 
Report Number 2013-16 July 2013
 
OHCSD Programs Page 2
above because it can provide rent assistance; however, there is noduplication because the program provides numerous other services andspecifically targets the homeless or those at risk of homelessness.
 
Fragmentation occurs when more than one state agency is involved in thesame broad area of need. As an example, four agencies provide programswith missions that focus on rent assistance: the Department, OregonHealth Authority, Department of Human Services and Department of Revenue.Some duplication, overlap and fragmentation can be advantageous byproviding complementary programs to cover geographic regions, orclientele served. For example, school meals for low-income children may bebetter delivered by the Department of Education than other agencies that provide food assistance programs, such as the Department of HumanServices. Nonetheless, there may be opportunities to reduce duplication,overlap and fragmentation that could save taxpayer dollars and help tomaximize performance and results of programs that share commonoutcomes.We reviewed the Department’s Single Family Housing, Multi-FamilyHousing, Homeless, Rent Assistance, Food, Energy and Weatherization, andVolunteer programs. We did not review these programs in detail todetermine costs and benefits of program consolidation, whether programs’missions aligned with the administering agency’s mission, or the extent of current levels of coordination among agency programs. Additionally, welimited our review to state administered programs. Finally, our review isbased on our analysis of descriptive information of program missions, usesof and restrictions on funds, services provided, targeted beneficiaries andeligibility, and delivery methods.Duplication exists among the Department program areas we reviewedexcept for the Single Family Housing, Multi-Family Housing and Volunteerprograms. Energy and Weatherization programs show the greatest amount of duplication. The Department’s two energy assistance programs, the LowIncome Home Energy Assistance Program and the Oregon EnergyAssistance Program both provide energy bill payment assistance to low-income households at or below 60% of the state median income. Further,all four of its weatherization programs provide weatherization services tolow-income households and all target the elderly, children and people withdisabilities. We also found varying degrees of overlap in program missions,services provided, targeted beneficiaries and service delivery methods,among all the Department’s program areas we reviewed.We identified 71 programs administered by 16 other state agencies that demonstrate duplication, overlap or fragmentation with the Department’sprograms. For example, food assistance programs are fragmented acrossfour agencies: the Department, Department of Education, Oregon HealthAuthority and Department of Human Services.
 
 
Report Number 2013-16 July 2013
 
OHCSD Programs Page 3
While fragmentation appears to be common, we found minimal duplicationbetween the Department’s programs and other state agency administeredprograms. Just five other state agency programs that provide foodassistance services appear to duplicate a Department program: OregonHealth Authority’s Nutrition and Health Screening Program for Women,Infants and Children, the WIC Farm Direct Nutrition Program and SeniorFarm Direct Nutrition Program which show duplication with theDepartment’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and theDepartment of Human Services’ Supplemental Nutrition AssistanceProgram (SNAP) and SNAP Education, which show duplication with theDepartment’s Emergency Food Assistance and Oregon Hunger ResponseFund programs.However, overlap occurs between many of the Department’s programs andother state agency administered programs. We found this to be the case inall Department program areas. This overlap is often seen in servicesprovided and program beneficiaries, with some overlap in programdelivery methods.We recommend Department management evaluate benefits and costs of reducing duplication, overlap and fragmentation among the Department’sprograms; work with other state agencies to evaluate benefits and costs of reducing duplication, overlap and fragmentation among similar programs;and where appropriate, include recommendations for consolidating oreliminating programs in its proposed plan for restructuring servicedelivery to be presented to the Governor and Legislature in February 2014.The agency response is attached at the end of the report.
Agency Response

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