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Running head: EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 1 Assignment 5: Evaluation of the Agency’s Budgeting and Cumulative Report Joseph Brown Dr. Valerie Richardson PAD 599 Public Administration Capstone March 15, 2014 EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 2 The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is the second largest agency within the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS). Being so large comes with a cost; the budget preparation of ACF is challenging, and involves many processes and justifications. In justifying the budget, ACF ensures that they invest in efforts to promote the economic and social well being of children, families, and communities by giving opportunity ways of a fiscally responsible budget. Prime example would be ACF’s Early Childhood Education. “About$8 billion a year on early childhood development services” (Heckman, 2011).In this program, the budget targets funding by increasing the investment in Head Start and Early Head Start and dedicating additional funds for child care enforcements. The budget also provides funding to expand access to child careassistance for lowincome families and additional funds for quality initiative that will train teachers and help communities improve their efforts to inform parents about the quality of care available and to monitor child care programs' compliance with critical health and safety standards. Budget Overview The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a federally administrated agency, and its budgeting exercises fall within the jurisdiction of the Assistant Secretary whose supervises the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the HHS and under congressional oversight. The overview of the budgets of ACF includes numerical values, employee remuneration, various charges and inputs from the many sub committees which are under the agency. “ACF has a $49 billion budget for 60 programs that target children, youth and families” (Costello, 2014). The overall budget vision of ACF is to ensure that the workload measures the EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 3 performance targets that need to be budgeted so that the strategic goals of the secretary’s vision can be achieved. ACF budget is part of the comprehensive executive budget that the president submits to the United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. In this case, this subcommittee has jurisdiction over information about what ACF budget sets as their spending ceilings. The agency functional classification of the federal budget is said to be codified under Function 500: Education, Training, Employment and Social Services, belonging to subfunction 506. The budget authority falls under The Division of Budget. This division is responsible for forecasting budget authority needs, expenditures and outlays for mandatory spending and discretionary spending programs. Such proposed outlays include spending on TANF, Foster Care and Adoption Assistance, Child Care Development Fund, Child Support Enforcement, Head Start and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The proposed budget authority for ACF in FY2012 was about $50 billion dollars. Some outlays include $17 billion spent on TANF, and $7.2 billion spent on Foster Care and Adoption Assistance. Moreover, the actual outlay for FY2012 for TANF is $16.8 billion; and $7 billion for Foster Care and Adoption Assistance. Lastly, the actual budget for ACF in FY2012 is $50.6 billion (acf.hhs.gov). Budgeting Assessment The political influences that have impacted the budgeting processes of the ACF have been policy reforms that have been enacted under various federal government schemes, especially with the welfare reform."Bipartisan suggestions for welfare reform tend to be predictable” (AllGov, 2014). After all, the Democrats tackling the ideological nature of ACF’s EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 4 family programs and conservative welfare reform, and Republicans on the other hand are attempting to redirect welfare funding to marriage and faithbased initiatives. The result is a wrestling over funds and ideology, whereby the nation’s neediest families and children are being caught between. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) which is part of the welfare reform serves as both a safety net and a way station for families with disabilities. According to most studies, at least a third of all households receiving these benefits include an adult or child with a disability. Nationally, “TANF, which provides basic assistance to families with little or no income, responded highly to the severe recession that began in December 2007, in which the national TANF caseload began to increase as time went by”(Pavetti, 2010).State TANF caseloads varied widely in their responsiveness during the recession, growing substantially in some states but changing little in others. The other influence has beenimmigration reforms laws. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data analyzed from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General, 108,434 illegal immigrants with U.S. citizen children were removed from the United States between fiscal year 1998 and 2011. Children of those that were deported left their children behind increasing social services case load. “Beyond the hardship of this needless children suffering, there is also an attribute of economic selfinterest to immigration reform law” (SuarezOroz, 2012). If the federal government had already created a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants now in this country, U.S. children, families and communities would have received a much needed benefits from health and human services: more funds for head starts, longer doctor visits for the needy, and more. However, all of these benefits remain hypothetical as long as EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 5 Congress continues to delay the possibility of enacting immigration reform legislation. In the meantime, the broken immigration system will continue to impact health and human services programs to the needy while draining the ACF budget and continue to undermine the social well being of this country.These political influences have had a major role to play in the budgeting decisions of the ACF. Analysis of Budgeting Plans and Actual Expenditures The Office of Legislative Affairs and Budget (OLAB) influences the budgetary decisions for current and future budgetsfor ACF. OLAB also plays a supervisory role in analyzing ACF budgets and expenditures for a given fiscal year. Furthermore, the OLAB website indicatedthis office prepares all major ACF budget documents and coordinates the execution of the entire ACF budget. In details, it stated that they are also responsible for the following: Forecasting budget authority needs; Coordinating the development of legislative proposals, including reauthorization of program funding; Expenditures and outlays for mandatory spending; Discretionary spending programs such as TANF, Foster Care and Adoption Assistance (FCAA), Child Care Development Fund (CCDF), Child Support Enforcement (CSE), and Head Starts, and; Monitoring fulfillment of the ACF’s regulatory and congressional reporting commitments. By working close with ACF staff, the OLAB integrates performance goals and measures into the budget process. Implications of Foreign Policy EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 6 International immigration policy is definitely impacting ACF budget. Over the past two decades, strong efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the U.S. have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants; both legal and illegal would exceed the cost of the benefits they use. The main factor that impacts the ACF’s budget is the extent to which illegal immigrants uses certain public benefits. An example to set forward is, they are less likely to obtain health insurance, whereby relying heavily on emergency facilities or free human services programs for treatment for nonemergency illnesses and other related health issues. In 2000 and 2001, researchers from the RAND Corporation and the University of California surveyed immigrants in Los Angeles County andfound that 65 percent of those respondents who identified themselves as illegal immigrants had no health insurance. ACF Head Starts program is another one facing budget difficulties, in regards to international policy. In terms of Head Starts program, illegal immigrants who are minors increase the overall number of students participating in the program, whereby they require more educational services than do nativeborn American children because of a lack of proficiency in English. RAND Corporation Analyses from several states indicate that the costs of educating students who did not speak English fluently were 20 percent to 40 percent higher than the costs incurred for nativeborn students. ACF incur costs for providing services to illegal immigrants and have limited options for refusing or minimizing those costs. Some might argue that it’s the rules governing many federal social welfare programs, as well as decisions handed down by various courts, that limit the authority of ACF to avoid the costs of providing services to illegal immigrants. There have been instances where both federal EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 7 and state courts have ruled that states may not avoid giving free public education to students on the basis of their immigration status. Furthermore, agencies like the ACF are taking all measures to overcome uncertainties. Title this section Budget Request and Recommendations As another budget confrontation looms in September 2014, senior staff at the AFC already expressing grievances that the agency can’t possibly meet the tight spending limits Congress imposed in previous year. With no reservation, they could if they are willing to eliminate a range of nonresponsive programs that the ACF shouldn’t be funding. The ACF can improve its budget in the future by eliminating the following programs: Head Start. There were studies done between 2010 and 2012 that indicated failure of this early childhood education program. The Head Start program administered by ACF hasno impact on children’s academic outcomes, and other impacts of wellbeings. “Studies showed little or no benefits in cognitive development, child health outcomes, and parenting outcomes” (Burke, 2013). There were only slight improvements in child behavior, and in some instances a decline in peer relations. ACF should take the long overdue step of terminating this failed program; Title X Family Planning Grants. A huge portion of this amount goes to Planned Parenthood. Government funds are not to finance abortions, but some way, somehow it’s indirectly used for abortions. Government has to part to play in family planning business, and; Community Development Block Grants. This grant program was originally intended to provide housing for lowincome families. The failure of this grant is due to its formula that has no exclusion for highincome communities. The end result of such enables EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 8 wealthy suburbs to be eligible for funds as lowincome localities. ACF should terminate this program. This program is just another way for politicians to steer free tax payer dollars to their districts. The unknown figures in potential savings from the recommendations above should carefully be examined at the upper level. Furthermore, if ACF take these recommendations into consideration, those unknown saving figures would come solely from the terminations of the above listed nonresponsive discretionary programs. EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 9 Reference AllGov.(2014). Administration for Children and Family.Retrieved on March 12, 2014. From: http://www.allgov.com/departments/departmentofhealthandhumanservices /administrationforchildrenandfamilies?agencyid=7390 Burke, L. (2013). Head Start Fails Poor Children. Retrieved on March 14, 2014. From: http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2013/1/headstartfailspoorchildren Costello, M. (20014). Cancian nominated assistant secretary for children and families. Retrieved on March 13, 2014. From: http://www.news.wisc.edu/22551 Heckman, James J. 2011. “The Economics of Inequality: The Value of Early Childhood Education.”The American Educator.Retrieved on March 12, 2014. From: http://www.aft.org/pdfs/americaneducator/spring2011/Heckman.pdf. Office of Legislative Affairs and Budget.(2014). Budget Information. Retrieved on March 12, 2014. From: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/officeoflegislativeaffairsandbudget Pavetti, LaDonna 2010. “Responding to Increasing Need: Assessing TANF’s Responsiveness During Hard Economic Times.” Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, June 3, 2010. RAND Corporation. (2013). The Impact of Unauthorized Immigrants on the Budgets of State and Local Governments Retrieved on March 12, 2014, From: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/87xx/doc8711/126 immigration.pdf SuarezOrozco &Hirokazu. (2012). Deporting Parents Hurts Kids. Retrieved on March 16, EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 10 2014http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/21/opinion/deportingparentsruinskids.html? _r=0 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (2009). Removals Involving Illegal Alien: Retrieved on March 15, 2014. From: http://www.oig.dhs.gov/assets/Mgmt/OIG_0915_Jan09.pdf. Appendix PAD 599 – Interview Template Assignment 5: Evaluation of the Agency’s Budgeting and Cumulative Report Student’s Name Joseph Brown Section PAD599 Capstone The Administration of Children and US. Department of Health and Agency Families Department Human Services Person(s) Victoria Middleton Medium (Phone, Interviewed email, in person, identify if other) Interviewee’s Program Specialist Date(s) of March 13, 2014 Position Interview Area Topics for Questions 1) Budgeting Ask about the components of effective budgeting for the selected agency, Overview highlighting the purposes of budgeting, sources of revenue, and challenges resulting from today’s economic downturn. 2) Political Ask about the major political influences on and primary accountability areas Influences required of program administrators. 3) Differences in Ask about any differences between the agency’s planned budget for a selected Planned and year (within last three (3) years) and its actual budget. Actual 4) Future Plans Ask about the agency’s future plans for budgeting that might affect the agency’s operation and its primary recipients. 5) Recommendations Ask about any recommendation they might have for improvement in the areas of budgeting, sources for revenue, and efficiencies. 1). I see that your discretionary spending will affect childcare programs. How soon will that be? Ans: It’s already in effect. Ex: Cuts to Head Start forced two Indiana programs to remove randomly selected students from preschool. Funding for Indian Health Services is already experiencing the 5 percent cut. EVALUATION OF AGENCY’S BUDGETING AND 11 2). Is it true that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing policies that affect the health care industry with little or no public notification? Ans: We a oversight that ensures CMS implements policies to protect the Medicare program from fraud, waste, and abuse. 3). Have expenditures changed over the past two years due to Immigration Reforms? Ans: The United States is a nation of immigrants. Sorry… 4). with future budget cuts, ACF continue the fight with strengthening Medicare? Ans: We have made major progress in strengthening Medicare over the last 18 months while implementing the Affordable Care Act 5). Can ACF reduce costs while maintaining quality? Ans: It will be important to determine what the budget translates into in terms of actual reductions for the program by looking at expenditures to date.
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