ERIC Number: ED410791
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-May-15
Reference Count: N/A
Department of Education: Multiple, Nonintegrated Systems Hamper Management of Student Financial Aid Programs. Testimony before the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, U. S. Senate. Statement of Cornelia M. Blanchette, Associate Director Education and Employment Issues, Health, Education, and Human Services Division.
Blanchette, Cornelia M.
This statement of Cornelia M. Blanchette to the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Reources discusses Department of Education information management systems that support the financial aid programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. These programs help the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), the Ford Direct Loan Program (FDLP), the Federal Pell Grant Program, and campus-based programs. Comments are based on work done for high-risk series and other studies done on federal student fiancial programs, as well as ongoing work analyzing the Department's development and use of information systems. There is concern that without effective information management resulting from fully implementing recent legislation--the Clinger-Cohen Act--the multiple, nonintegrated information systems currently operated by the Department may hamper its management of student financial aid programs. Over the past 30 years, separate information systems have been developed to support student financial aid programs. These multiple systems contain incompatible data in nonstandard formats--a situation that has led to inaccurate information, inefficient systems, and high costs. One of the causes of the current information systems' difficulties appears to be the lack of sound, integrated information technology, or systems architecture for managing the Department's portfolio of information systems that support student financial aid programs. The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 makes agency heads directly responsible for effective information technology. The Department of Education could benefit greatly by fully implementing the Clinger-Cohen Act. Full implementation of the law would provide another opportunity to correct many of the Department's student financial aid system weaknesses. Appendices list Education Department student financial aid systems and their contract costs from fiscal year 1994 through 1998. Contains a 10-item list of related GAO reports. (JLS)
Descriptors: Accountability, Compliance (Legal), Data Collection, Databases, Educational Legislation, Federal Legislation, Federal Programs, Higher Education, Information Management, Information Systems, Information Technology, Program Administration, Program Effectiveness, Public Agencies, Student Financial Aid, Student Loan Programs
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015; phone: 202-512-6000; fax: 301-258-4066 (first copy free, additional copies $2 each, discount on bulk orders).
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Accounting and Information Management Div.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Higher Education Act Title IV