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keep uppermost in our minds as we work on the implementation of the provisions of the act and its amendments.
In my prepared statement, I discuss, first of all, the process of communication and then in the second place the process of locating authority.
In the interest of time, I will skip my discussion of these two processes and turn to the third process on page 4.
You will note that this is the process of coordinating the resources made available under the Older Americans Act with other public and private resources for the delivery of services to older persons.
Those of us who are associated with the program recognize that our ability to meet the needs of today's older persons depends on our
lity to work together to make this process work. Here are some of the factors that we believe will help to make this process work.
First of all, section 301 of the Older Americans Act calls specifically for State and area agencies to enter into new cooperative arrangements with each other and with providers of social services to bring about comprehensive and coordinated service systems on behalf of older persons.
In the second place, the regulations which we have issued under the Older Americans Act underscore the importance of coordinated programs at both the State and area levels. They provide that maximum coordination should be achieved between the State agency and the area agency and the social services and medical services titles under the Social Security Act.
Also, they underline the importance of action programs designed to achieve coordination of the delivery of existing services.
In the third place, a high priority has been given and is being given in fiscal year 1975 to working out and implementing interagency agreements. The Administration on Aging recognizes that the development of effective interagency working relationships at both the State and area levels depends to a considerable degree on establishing these relationships at the Washington level.
This is why major emphasis is being given during this fiscal year on developing formal working arrangements with a number of agencies, both inside and outside the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. A summary of what has happened up to now follows:
Transportation- working agreement with the Department of Transportation is in effect.
Utilization of volunteers-A working agreement with action is in effect.
Information and referral--A working agreement with the Social Security Administration and the Social and Rehabilitation Service has been developed and is about to be issued.
A second working agreement with 11 departments and agencies outside of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare is also in the final stages of negotiation.
Adult services program-A working agreement has been developed by the Administration on Aging and the Community Services Administration of the Social and Rehabilitation Service and will be signed shortly.
Medicaid services-A working agreement has been developed by the Administration on Aging and the Medical Services Administration.
Rehabilitation services-A working agreement between the Administration on Aging and the Rehabilitation Services Administration is in the process of being completed.
Health services—A working agreement has been developed between the Administration on Aging and the Public Health Service and is in effect.
Use of school buses for the elderly-Work is moving forward on an agreement which will involve the Department of Transportation and the Office of Education.
Housing-Work is now underway to identify those parts of the Housing and Community Development Act which will lend themselves to joint agreements between the Administration on Aging and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Research on aging—An interdepartmental task force on research on aging is about to request proposals for a joint contract to inventory Federal research on aging. Nine departments and agencies are involved in this project.
Coordination with school lunch programs and facilities—The Office of Education and the Administration on Aging have reached an agreement in this area, and it will be transmitted to the field very shortly.
Energy-An agreement has been reached which involves the Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Energy Administration, the new Community Services Administration, and Action, and this has been transmitted to the field.
We do not expect to develop at the outset what might be regarded as ideal interdepartmental working agreements. As soon as we have reached an agreement at the Washington level, we transmit it to the regions and the States.
We invite immediate reactions from them and, through the States, the areas.
As soon as the reactions have been analyzed, we will reconvene those who worked on the agreement at the Washington level to determine whether any changes should be made. In the meantime, State executives who feel that they are in a position to implement all or parts of any agreement immediately are urged to do so.
In the fourth place, in connection with the objective of trying to coordinate resources at the Federal level, the information memorandums which we issue from time to time are designed to keep States abreast of significant developments at the Federal level and which could have an impact on their efforts to pool resources.
Memorandums which have been issued in the areas of transportation, manpower, use of voluntary services, natural disasters, and energy are illustrative of what has and can be done.
The objective of all of these steps that I have identified is to facilitate the coordination of the delivery of services for older persons and to bring about a pooling of resources in both the public and private sectors.
The next process that I would like to discuss is the process of involving the States and areas in the evolution of policy under the Older Americans Act.
In view of the fact that the Federal Government has assigned major management responsibilities to the States and areas under the Older Americans Act, we beileve it is important that the experiences, capabilities, and insights of their personnel be drawn on as new policies or policy changes are considered.
In order to achieve this objective, the following steps have been taken:
We held in December 1974 a national meeting of State and area executives on aging.
Four meetings have been held with all State executives. Four meetings have been held with the members of the executive board of the National Association of State Units on Aging.
Four meetings have been held with the Urban Elderly Coalition.
We are arranging to meet with a new national organization of area agencies on aging.
If other organizations emerge as a result of the operation of this network, we will be delighted to meet with them as we see in all of these organizations an opportunity to open up channels of communication and to provide additional opportunities for involvement in the evolution of policy.
Provision has been made in the regulations for consultation with the States before national objectives are established for each fiscal year. In subsequent years, we will also invite, through the States, reactions from the areas.
The next process that I would like to identify is the process of providing the State and area agencies with the maximum opportunity to respond to the priority needs of older Americans within their respective jurisdictions.
We believe that it is the intent of Congress that we should do everything we can to make this process a reality.
In order to achieve this objective, our regulations and program instructions are designed to give both State and area agencies on aging wide latitude in determining how they should use the Federal dollars made available to them.
For example, as the interdepartmental working agreements become available, we recognize that the ability to implement these agreements at the State and area levels will vary from State to State and from area to area.
Although we will encourage each State to use the agreements in at least a few areas, we will make it clear that in the beginning the decision as to whether to use an agreement, and the extent to which it will be used, will be left to the judgment of the State in consultation with the areas.
As we gain experience in the implementation of the agreements, we may conclude, after consultation with the States and, through the States, the areas, that some can and should be implemented on a nationwide basis.
The next process to which I would like to direct your attention is the process of insuring that, when it is possible to do so, high priority needs of older persons, wherever they may live, are dealt with on a national basis.
In the implementation of this process, the following steps have been taken:
The title III regulations provide that there must be included in area plans and budgets provisions for an action program designed to coordinate the delivery of existing services for older persons and the pooling of available but untapped resources from both the private and public sectors for services for older persons.
This provision was included because of a conviction that there is an opportunity for implementing the provision in all areas and that when it is done some older persons wilî be receiving services they are not receiving today.
Next, the goal has been established of assuring that by June 30, 1975, information and referral services that meet minimum standards will be accessible at convenient locations to all older persons.
Next, in the submission of State plans for 1975, the States have been required to include an action program designed to bring about a pooling of some of the resources available under title III of the Older Americans Act with some of the resources available under the social services titles of the Social Security Act.
This requirement has been instituted because of a belief that the existence of resources under both titles in all of the States calls for positive action designed to pool the resources in the best possible manner.
Also, in the submission of State plans for 1975, the States have been required to include an action program designed to deal with some of the unique issues that confront older persons as a result of the energy crisis.
We have initiated this effort because of our conviction that the State agency on aging should be the focal point for aging concerns and the advocate for those concerns.
Published stories, evidence presented to the Congress and to the Pre-Economic Summit Conference on the Elderly all underscore the problems older persons are confronting because of the energy crisis.
We have concluded that those of us who are working in the field of aging should tackle this on a national basis. We hope that the interdepartmental working agreement we have developed will be of assistance in dealing with these issues.
The next process is the process of providing technical assistance.
This process is reflected in the discussion of some of the other processes. Nevertheless, it should be highlighted.
We believe that the Administration on Aging has the obligation to provide technical assistance to the States and to help them provide technical assistance to the area agencies and, through the area agencies on aging, to providers of services.
The next process is the process of monitoring and assessing by the Administration on Aging of the programs and activities of State agencies on aging, by State agencies on the programs and activities of area agencies, and by area agencies of organizations which they have funded for the delivery of services.
The manner in which this process is handled will determine, to a considerable degree, whether or not the objectives set forth by the Congress in the act will be achieved.
For example, right now we are placing major emphasis on monitoring and assessing the affirmative action requirements which have been built into the law and which have been built into our regulations.
We are likewise placing major emphasis on monitoring and assessing the progress or lack of progress in making it possible for minorityoperated groups to participate in contracts or in grants for the delivery of services at least in proportion to their representation in the population of a particular area.
The final process to which I would like to call attention is the process of advocacy.
This is one of the most important processes for which those of us who are working in the field of aging are responsible. Here are some of the steps that have been taken at the Federal level in order to implement this
process: a. We have made recommendations, to give a few illustrations, relative to (1) regulations issued by the Department of Agriculture in connection with the use of commodities in the nutrition programs for older persons, as provided for in the amendments to the Older Americans Act; (2) regulations issued by the Department of Labor in connection with the Older Americans Community Service Employment Act; (3) regulations issued by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities; (4) regulations of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare relative to the social service titles of the Social Security Act; (5) regulations issued by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare relative to the supplemental security income program; and (6) regulations issued by the Department of Transportation relative to providing funds for capital investments for transportation of older persons in rural areas.
We have developed, and are developing, as noted earlier, interagency agreements designed to strengthen the Federal Government's involvement in the field of aging. These activities often involve the advocacy role in that, in some instances, other departments and agencies do not recognize initially the unique problems confronting older persons and the necessity of developing special programs in order to respond effectively to these problems.
Through interagency agreements and information memoranda we are endeavoring to provide State and area agencies on aging with tools which they can use as advocates in such areas as (1) helping older persons to deal with the unique problems that confront them when they are the victims of natural disasters or an energy crisis; (2) insuring that older persons receive their fair share of general revenue sharing funds and specialized revenue sharing funds in such areas as manpower and community development and social services; (3) developing relationships which will result in greater use of school lunch facilities with the end in view of broadening the base of the nutrition program for older persons; (4) opening up opportunities for minority contractors in the field of aging; and (5) providing opportunities for minorities and women to occupy key positions in the field of aging at both the State and area levels.
We meet regularly with the leaders of the national organizations of older persons in order (1) to have them identify the issues which they feel we should be pursuing as advocates for older persons; and (2) to explain to them steps that the Administration on Aging or other agencies contemplate taking so that they can, if they so desire, relate their advocacy roles to these developments.
We meet regularly with the top staff related to congressional committees dealing with issues in the field of aging in order (1) to have