New GAO report critical of federal oversight agencies
Posted by Christopher Coen on July 28, 2012
The General Accounting Office has just released a new report which examines the national refugee resettlement program. The report critical of the US State Department and the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement for the failure of resettlement contractors to consult with local communities, and for the lack of any formal mechanisms to address strengths and weaknesses.
- Voluntary Agencies Consider Various Factors in Placing Refugees, but Few Consult with Local Service Providers
…Most local voluntary agencies we visited have not taken steps to ensure that other relevant service providers are afforded the opportunity to provide input on the number and types of refugees that can be served. As a result, many local service providers experienced challenges in properly serving refugees… p.13
- Neither ORR nor PRM has formal mechanisms for collecting and sharing information gleaned during monitoring to improve services:
…Neither ORR nor PRM has formal mechanisms for collecting and sharing information gleaned during monitoring to improve services, such as solutions to common problems or promising practices. ORR and PRM officials identified some informal mechanisms for sharing such information with service providers, but relied mostly on service providers to network among themselves or share information during quarterly conference calls and annual consultations. ORR also relies on external technical assistance providers to disseminate best practices when training grantees and expects state refugee coordinators to share findings of monitoring reports with their local partners. However, monitoring reports are not publicly available, and, unless the state coordinators share this information, service providers may not be able to identify promising practices, track monitoring results, identify trends, and address common issues. As a result, service providers do not always get the information they need to improve services, whether by preventing a problem or implementing a best practice… p28 Read more here