Veterans' training program works to get performance measures right

A Labor Department job training program for veterans needs more specific performance measures in order for managers to better track its performance, according to a recent report from the General Accounting Office. GAO praised the Labor Department's Veterans' Employment and Training Service program (VETS) for developing new performance measures that are more focused on results, instead of on the number of services it provides. However, VETS has yet to clearly define which groups of veterans it intends to target, and continues to use overly broad and even irrelevant performance measures, according to the report, "Veterans' Employment and Training Service: Proposed Performance Measurement System Improved, But Further Changes Needed" (GAO-01-580). "VETS continues to send a mixed message to states about what services to provide and to whom," said the report. The VETS program helps provide job training for veterans and ensures they get priority treatment when applying for government jobs. According to GAO, current performance measures focus on process-oriented factors--such as the number of veterans placed in training and the number of veterans who receive counseling-that do not help the agency gauge the success of the VETS program. VETS' proposed performance measures, which are slated for implementation this year, are more focused on program results. For example, one new measure tracks retention rates of veterans six months into their jobs. Despite the improvement of VETS' performance measures, GAO said the criteria for tracking the success of job and training programs for veterans need to be more focused. "Two of the proposed measures-the entered employment rate [of veterans] and the employment rate following staff-assisted services-may provide nearly identical results, and neither helps VETS to monitor whether more intensive services are being provided to veterans or whether these services are successful," said the report. The report also criticized VETS for including the number of federal contractor jobs listed with local employment offices as a performance measure. According to GAO, tracking this statistic is not the responsibility of VETS staff and does not help the agency determine whether or not programs are serving veterans. GAO recommended eliminating the measure related to federal contractor jobs and urged VETS to revise criteria related to staff-assisted services by evaluating only those services that require the most time and energy from employees. VETS generally agreed with GAO's recommendations, acknowledging that its current strategic plan sends states a mixed message about which groups of veterans its staff should target for special attention. However, VETS disagreed with GAO's recommendation to evaluate only certain staff-assisted services, saying that many services for veterans require extensive staff time. VETS also declined to eliminate the measure related to federal contractor jobs, citing an increased emphasis on government outsourcing.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.