In a speech at the second White House National Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, President Bush touted the results that federally-funded faith-based organizations had achieved.
“I am confident that the faith community is achieving unbelievable successes...throughout our country,” Bush said. "I repeat to you, and I’m going to say this about five times, I’m sure: Our job in government is to set goals and to focus on results.”
The Government Accountability Office, in response to a request from California Democrat Reps. George Miller and Pete Stark, investigated the federal government’s ability to track the progress of faith-based groups. They found Bush’s confidence in how effectively these groups use taxpayer money appears to be faith-based as well.
The GAO report came to three key conclusions. First, the government does not have established ways to evaluate these programs. “Little information is available to assess agencies’ progress toward the long-term goal of improving participant outcomes because outcome-based evaluations for most pilot programs have not yet been completed,” the report said.
Second, most federal agencies are not informing groups that they must provide services regardless of a person’s religion. Finally, many federal agencies do not inform organizations that they cannot have discriminatory hiring practices.
“Unbelievable success?” You bet it’s unbelievable.