Federal Agencies' Unemployment Compensation Costs Can Be Reduced Through Improved Management

FPCD-83-3: Published: Oct 29, 1982. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 1982.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Rosslyn S. Kleeman
(202) 512-9204
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the adequacy of four agencies' controls to ensure that only eligible former federal employees receive unemployment payments.

GAO reviewed actions affecting unemployment compensation practices which were taken by the Departments of Labor, Energy, and Commerce and the Office of Personnel Management and learned that these agencies were not following two critical regulatory requirements to prevent former federal employees from improperly receiving unemployment payments. Department of Labor regulations require federal agencies to: (1) provide state unemployment offices with accurate, complete, and timely wage and separation information about former employees so that the state can compensate them properly; and (2) appeal state decisions to pay unemployment benefits to those whom the agency believes are ineligible. GAO noted specifically that nearly half of the four agencies' former employees had been improperly authorized to receive more than $400,000 in District of Columbia unemployment payments. GAO concluded that federal agencies' unemployment costs could be considerably reduced though improved management.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should require all executive departments and agencies to begin providing state unemployment offices with the following severance pay information: (1) weekly amount and total entitlement; (2) the date severance pay will begin; and (3) the number of weeks severance pay will be made.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Labor concluded, and GAO agrees, that implementing the recommendation is not practical unless the agencies are given some incentive for reporting job refusals by former employees of other agencies. Any system to provide such incentives would be too costly.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should clarify whether agencies should report job refusals by former employees of other agencies to state unemployment offices.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should alert all executive departments and agencies of the need to enforce the requirement to notify state unemployment offices when former employees refuse job offers made after separation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should alert all executive departments and agencies of the need to appeal state decisions to pay unemployment benefits to former employees who were separated from federal service under circumstances that the agency believes would disqualify the claimant.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should alert all executive departments and agencies of the need to provide state unemployment offices with accurate, complete, and timely wage and separation information for former employees who apply for unemployment payments. Of particular importance is information on those former employees who received severance or lump-sum leave payments, refused job offers made before separation, resigned voluntarily, were fired for misconduct, or retired and are receiving an annuity.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 1, 2016

Aug 19, 2016

Jun 8, 2016

Mar 24, 2016

Jan 11, 2016

Jun 16, 2015

Apr 16, 2015

Mar 9, 2015

Jan 30, 2015

Jan 6, 2015

Looking for more? Browse all our products here