Workforce Investment Act: DOL Should Do More to Improve the Quality of Participant Data

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Flexibility in the Department of Labor's (DOL) data reporting guidance and limitations in some state information systems continue to impair the quality of the data on participants in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs. The flexibility in the guidance stems from the inherent nature of WIA, which allows states and local areas to tailor program design and service delivery to their needs. As a result, DOL's guidance on collecting and reporting the data allows variation in how some WIA data elements are ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. December 2, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Flexibility in the Department of Labor's (DOL) data reporting guidance and limitations in some state information systems continue to impair the quality of the data on participants in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs. The flexibility in the guidance stems from the inherent nature of WIA, which allows states and local areas to tailor program design and service delivery to their needs. As a result, DOL's guidance on collecting and reporting the data allows variation in how some WIA data elements are defined, collected, and reported. Specifically, an American Job Center--formerly known as a one-stop center--can choose to provide certain basic services exclusively through WIA programs, exclusively through a partner program, or through a blend of both WIA and partner programs. However, this flexibility involves variations in data reporting that have contributed to inconsistencies among states regarding when job seekers are counted as WIA participants. Moreover, some aspects of DOL's guidance are open to interpretation, leaving it to states to define variables such as type of training service received, further contributing to data inconsistencies. In addition, some state information systems used to collect and report WIA participant data have limitations that hamper the affected states' ability to report uniform and complete data. For example, data are incomplete to the extent that states may not have information systems that can track participants who access services online without significant staff assistance. Having inconsistent and incomplete data makes it difficult for DOL to compare data on program participants across states or to aggregate the data at a national level."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • December 2, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Workforce Investment Act: DOL Should Do More to Improve the Quality of Participant Data, report, December 2, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300028/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.