Recent GAO reports

From the Government Accountability Office (GAO):

MEDICAID FINANCING: Long-standing Concerns about Inappropriate State Arrangements Support Need for Improved Federal Oversight, GAO-08-650T (pdf, 19pp/312kB), April 3, 2008

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). This testimony on "inappropriate" Medicaid payments includes two tables: (1) showing Medicaid financing schemes used to inappropriately generate federal payments and the federal actions to address them, 1987-2002, and (2) six states' use of funds generated through UPL (upper payment limit) arrangements, as of Jan. 2004, and a diagram showing how one state increased federal Medicaid matching funds without increasing state spending.

NATIVE HAWAIIAN EDUCATION ACT: Greater Oversight Would Increase Accountability and Enable Targeting of Funds to Areas with Greatest Need, GAO-08-422 (pdf, 56pp/885kB), March 25, 2008

The purpose of the Native Hawaiian Education Act (NHEA) is to develop innovative educational programs for Native Hawaiians. (NHEA was originally enacted in 1988 and reauthorized in 2002 as Part B, Title VII, of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)). The Dept. of Education (Education) administers NHEA and, under section 7204 of the act, is authorized to establish a Native Hawaiian Education Council (NHEC) and seven island councils. Among GAO's findings:
The parties responsible for administering NHEA--Education, the Education Council, and the island councils--have not fulfilled many of the respective roles and responsibilities under the act....The Education Council has not fulfilled its primary duty to collect data on the status of Native Hawaiian education,....The overall lack of information about NHEA leave participants and policymakers in a knowledge vacuum, unable to make informed decision that will help meet and advance NHEA's goals.
The body of the report consists of briefing slides.

VEHICLE DONATIONS: Selected Charities Reported Mixed Experiences after Changes in Vehicle Donation Rules, GAO-08-367 (pdf, 51pp/1.6MB), February 15, 2008

Since Jan. 1, 2005, taxpayers can deduct only the sales price of a vehicle donated to a charity that sells it. Previously, taxpayers could claim fair market value. In many cases, the deduction is less under the new rules. GAO surveyed 10 charities for their experiences in the number of, quality of, and revenue from donated vehicles, and changes in their business operations. All 10 reported an increased administrative burden because of reporting requirements. GAO conducted this study from June 2007 through Jan. 2008.

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