Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Career Program Criticized

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Career Program Criticized

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- The government is spending $98,000 a year to

administer a career information committee with $21,000 worth of

programs, a new state audit shows.

The 20-year-old federally funded program duplicates other

efforts to collect and disseminate information on occupations,

the audit says, and Georgia Labor Commissioner David Poythress

said it probably should either be shut down or the duties

transferred elsewhere.

"I wouldn't say it's a wasteful program, but I think there's a

better way for taxpayers to spend the money to reach that goal,"

Poythress said yesterday.

Key lawmakers are examining the Georgia Occupational

Information Coordinating Committee and other job training and

information programs to see which ones are effective.

After reviewing a Georgia Department of Audits and Office of

Planning and Budget report on the committee, House

Appropriations Chairman Terry Coleman, D-Eastman, said, "It just

jumps out at you, doesn't it?"

Senate Appropriations Chairman George Hooks, D-Americus, said

yesterday, "I assure you, we're going to look into that."

The committee was created in 1977 to coordinate the development

and dissemination of occupational and career information.

According to the state audit report:

The committee spent $156,000 in fiscal 1996, which started

July 1, 1995, and ended June 30, 1996, and 81 percent went for

personal services and administrative costs. In the recently

completed fiscal 1997, $119,569 was allocated for the program,

and $98,000 went for salaries, benefits and administrative

costs, including $77,000 for a full-time director.

This year, the committee is budgeted for the same amount, but

there was $18,765 left over from last year's spending plan.

With one exception, all information provided by the committee

already is available through the Georgia Career Information

System operated by Georgia State University's Career Information

Center. …

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