Public CAA Case Study: The Power of a Tripartite Board

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This case study focuses on how the tripartite board of a public Community Action Agency (CAA) fulfills its responsibilities with respect to the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Organizational Standards (Standards) set forth in the federal Office of Community Services’ (OCS) Information Memorandum (IM) No. 138. Because a public CAA and its tripartite board are usually operating under the auspices of an established local government framework, the applicability of the Standards is markedly different from their applicability to a nonprofit CAA. After spending time speaking with representatives of Montgomery County Community Action Agency (MCCAA), a public CAA in Maryland, we were impressed by the ways in which its tripartite board helps the CAA achieve compliance with the Standards. Ongoing efforts of MCCAA’s tripartite board to reach the goal of 100% compliance with the Standards are inspiring and, we hope, informative, especially for those public CAA tripartite boards that are struggling with challenges related to meeting the Standards. Throughout the case study, we identify the Standards that we believe MCCAA’s tripartite board is either addressing or attempting to address through its efforts and actions.

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