Read the following excerpt and answer the questions listed below it.
Federal agencies issue numerous regulations and guidelines, and state and local officials complain about their proliferation. Paradoxically, federal control of state and local implementation is weak, and in block-grant programs, the control is intentionally weak because ensuring broad discretion is a federal goal. The federal government may require each state and local government to plan for the use of their grant and report how the grant was allocated and spent, but it cannot question the use unless there has been a clear violation of the law. In fact, illegal as well as trivial uses of block-grant funds may go undetected and unpunished because of federal reliance on self-reporting by recipient governments, inadequate auditing and enforcement staff, and the overriding commitment to shift decision making downward in the federal system.
- Analyze and explain what you think of this lack of rigor in federal control as it applies to block-grant programs.
- As a citizen who pays taxes, explain in detail if you think it is justified or not justified that the money is misused or used illegally and that there is no detection or intervention by the federal government because of its “goal of broad discretion” in the management of federal grants.
Comment on the examples provided by your classmates. Explain in detail your reasons along with your rationale as to why you agree or disagree with them.
Kettl, D. (2009). The politics of the administrative process, (4th ed.). Reference and Research Book News, 24(2).