Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation
George S. Blair
Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member
Merrill R. Goodall
© 1974 Barry J Wishart
The administration of public policy has always been a challenge in the United States because power is divided and dispersed on both an institutional and a regional basis. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the administration of the federal grant-in-aid programs which developed during the 1960's. Effective administration of these programs has been hampered at the intergovernmental level by the tremendous explosion in the number of grant-in-aid programs, the increasing reliance on categorical grant-in-aid programs, the confusing network of red tape, the development of a "function bureaucracy" which has alienated state and local officials, and the lack of a guiding philosophy or master plan. Many observers of these problems have called for a comprehensive restructuring of the administrative machinery. The Nixon Administration made an initial attempt to reform the administrative machinery by an Executive Order in 1969, which reorganized those federal agencies most involved with the grant-in-aid programs, within common regional boundaries with Federal Regional Councils. This study traces the historical development of grant-in-aid programs and describes the causes of the administrative and intergovernmental difficulties arising from the grant-in-aid programs established during the I960’ s. However, the primary purpose of this study is to determine the potential of Federal Regional Councils to reform the administration of grant-in-aid programs by designing and implementing interagency and intergovernmental strategies to coordinate these programs with state and local communities. This potential was determined by observing the activities of the Indian Task Force of the Western Federal Regional Council located in San Francisco, California from 1970 to 1974.
Designing and implementing an interagency approach to intergovernmental relations has neither been swiftly arrived at, nor readily developed. In the case of coordinating federal grants-in-aid to Indian tribes, the Western Federal Regional Council was slow to respond and inept in its initial organizational efforts. These failures can be partially excused by the fact that councils suffer from the handicap of being unable to force their decisions upon individual members. Such a handicap is the result of efforts on the part of the Executive Office to create an organization to coordinate the various federal agencies, without developing another autonomous bureaucracy. Notwithstanding these initial shortcomings, the Indian Task Force subsequently coordinated the various federal agencies of the Western Federal Region to meet some of the needs of the Indians in this region. The most notable achievement was the development of an Integrated Grant Application (IGA) for the Salt-River Tribe. This study concludes that the activities of the Indian Task Force not only demonstrate the importance of aggressive leadership, but they also demonstrate the ability of Federal Regional Councils to design and implement interagency and intergovernmental relations capable of correcting the most basic maladies plaguing the administration of grant-in-aid programs.
Wishart, Barry Joseph. (1974). An Interagency Approach to Reforming the Administration of Federal Grant-In-Aid Programs: A Case Study of the Indian Task Force of the Western Federal Regional Council. CGU Theses & Dissertations, 319. https://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgu_etd/319.