Disabled Veterans' Employment:

Performance Standards Needed to Assess Program Results

GGD-89-45: Published: Feb 28, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the: (1) effectiveness of the Disabled Veterans' Affirmative Action Program (DVAAP) at the Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and Office of Personnel Management (OPM); and (2) OPM oversight of DVAAP.

GAO found that: (1) neither the law establishing DVAAP nor the implementing regulations provided performance standards or other criteria for measuring employment and advancement of disabled veterans; (2) without specific performance criteria, it could not conclusively determine whether agencies' programs have been successful; (3) employment, new-hire, and promotion data indicated that DOL and OPM programs were more successful at employing and advancing disabled veterans than HHS, NASA, and OMB programs; (4) all five agencies' disabled veteran employment rates declined from 1982 to 1987; (5) neither OPM, as governmentwide program manager, nor any of the five agencies did the detailed analyses needed to define and correct problems in employing and advancing disabled veterans; and (6) OPM did not evaluate individual agency progress in meeting DVAAP objectives in its annual report to Congress. GAO also found that most DVAAP coordinators reported that they: (1) spent less than 10 percent of their time on DVAAP; (2) received less than 5 hours of DVAAP training; (3) were not evaluated on their program activities in their annual performance appraisals, contrary to OPM instructions; and (4) perceived the program as falling short of achieving its objectives.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Ten criteria have been developed for agencies to use for evaluating their performance.

    Recommendation: The Director, OPM, should require the Office of Affirmative Recruiting and Employment (OARE) to improve its management of DVAAP by developing, with agency assistance, criteria for measuring agencies' disabled veteran employment and advancement performance.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The development of criteria has been completed and provided to all agencies. In addition, questions on disabled veterans will be included in questionnaires on new hires and applicants which agencies must complete for OPM. OPM analyzes this information to determine further appropriate action.

    Recommendation: The Director, OPM, should require OARE to improve its management of DVAAP by overseeing agencies' self-evaluation efforts by helping them do the in-depth data analysis necessary to find the causes of problems and ways to improve performance.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OPM has increased the detail of its analysis of agency accomplishment reports, including 3-year trend analyses. Recommendations for program improvement are included in letter responses to each agency's plan, and on-site reviews by the Agency Compliance and Evaluation Group have included coverage of DVAAP.

    Recommendation: The Director, OPM, should require OARE to improve its management of DVAAP by using its reviews of agencies' plans and accomplishment reports and its on-site reviews to evaluate agencies' progress in meeting DVAAP objectives.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: This was put into action in the fiscal year 1989 annual DVAAP report to Congress.

    Recommendation: The Director, OPM, should require OARE to improve its management of DVAAP by citing individual agencies' progress or lack of progress and program effectiveness in the annual report to Congress.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: HHS and the other agencies have developed and implemented 10 performance criteria.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should work with OARE to develop the criteria needed for measuring their disabled veteran employment and advancement performance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OPM and the other agencies, including Labor, have developed and implemented 10 performance criteria.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should work with OARE to develop the criteria needed for measuring their disabled veteran employment and advancement performance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Criteria have been established for all agencies even though OMB did not participate in developing or implementing the criteria.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should work with OARE to develop the criteria needed for measuring their disabled veteran employment and advancement performance.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NASA and the other agencies have developed and implemented 10 criteria for evaluating DVAAP performance.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should work with OARE to develop the criteria needed for measuring their disabled veteran employment and advancement performance.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Agencies and OPM have established and implemented 10 performance criteria.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should work with OARE to develop the criteria needed for measuring their disabled veteran employment and advancement performance.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  10. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DVAAP coordinators are being trained and periodically reminded to use special hiring authorities for veterans.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should examine the manner in which DVAAP coordinators are used and trained, and take any actions necessary to ensure that the coordinators are more effectively used to accomplish program objectives. In particular, the coordinators should be informed about the special hiring authorities that can be used to increase the employment of disabled veterans and the exclusion of veterans readjustment appointments from agency employment ceilings.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  11. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DVAAP coordinators are being trained and periodically reminded to use special hiring authorities for veterans.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should examine the manner in which DVAAP coordinators are used and trained, and take any actions necessary to ensure that the coordinators are more effectively used to accomplish program objectives. In particular, the coordinators should be informed about the special hiring authorities that can be used to increase the employment of disabled veterans and the exclusion of veterans readjustment appointments from agency employment ceilings.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  12. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: OMB has no positions eligible for use of veterans readjustment appointments.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should examine the manner in which DVAAP coordinators are used and trained, and take any actions necessary to ensure that the coordinators are more effectively used to accomplish program objectives. In particular, the coordinators should be informed about the special hiring authorities that can be used to increase the employment of disabled veterans and the exclusion of veterans readjustment appointments from agency employment ceilings.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  13. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DVAAP coordinators are being trained and periodically reminded to use special hiring authorities for veterans.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should examine the manner in which DVAAP coordinators are used and trained, and take any actions necessary to ensure that the coordinators are more effectively used to accomplish program objectives. In particular, the coordinators should be informed about the special hiring authorities that can be used to increase the employment of disabled veterans and the exclusion of veterans readjustment appointments from agency employment ceilings.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  14. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DVAAP coordinators are being trained and periodically reminded to use special hiring authorities for veterans.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should examine the manner in which DVAAP coordinators are used and trained, and take any actions necessary to ensure that the coordinators are more effectively used to accomplish program objectives. In particular, the coordinators should be informed about the special hiring authorities that can be used to increase the employment of disabled veterans and the exclusion of veterans readjustment appointments from agency employment ceilings.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  15. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DVAAP responsibilities have been incorporated into appropriate agency officials' performance appraisals.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should ensure compliance with the OPM instruction that all agency officials who have DVAAP responsibilities be evaluated, as part of their performance appraisal, on their effectiveness in carrying out the program.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  16. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DVAAP responsibilities have been incorporated into appropriate agency officials' performance appraisals.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should ensure compliance with the OPM instruction that all agency officials who have DVAAP responsibilities be evaluated, as part of their performance appraisal, on their effectiveness in carrying out the program.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  17. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Since OMB does not do its own recruiting, there is none in OMB with sufficient DVAAP involvement to justify specifying DVAAP responsibilities as part of its performance appraisals.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should ensure compliance with the OPM instruction that all agency officials who have DVAAP responsibilities be evaluated, as part of their performance appraisal, on their effectiveness in carrying out the program.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  18. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DVAAP responsibilities have been incorporated into appropriate agency officials' performance appraisals.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should ensure compliance with the OPM instruction that all agency officials who have DVAAP responsibilities be evaluated, as part of their performance appraisal, on their effectiveness in carrying out the program.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  19. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DVAAP responsibilities have been incorporated into appropriate agency officials' performance appraisals.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should ensure compliance with the OPM instruction that all agency officials who have DVAAP responsibilities be evaluated, as part of their performance appraisal, on their effectiveness in carrying out the program.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  20. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: HHS has included this information in its examining of DVAAP coordinators and provides them with FPM guidance as part of its training program.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should ensure that their DVAAP coordinators establish and maintain contact with veterans representatives in state employment offices as a principal recruiting source of qualified disabled veterans.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  21. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Labor has been briefing its DVAAP coordinators on recommendations and has distributed new FPM guidance.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should ensure that their DVAAP coordinators establish and maintain contact with veterans representatives in state employment offices as a principal recruiting source of qualified disabled veterans.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  22. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Since OMB does not do its own recruiting, no purpose would be served in maintaining recruiting contacts.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should ensure that their DVAAP coordinators establish and maintain contact with veterans representatives in state employment offices as a principal recruiting source of qualified disabled veterans.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  23. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NASA included this information in its instructions to DVAAP coordinators, and has incorporated the new FPM instructions in its training for DVAAP coordinators.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should ensure that their DVAAP coordinators establish and maintain contact with veterans representatives in state employment offices as a principal recruiting source of qualified disabled veterans.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  24. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Information to cover this recommendation was included in new Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) guidance.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrator, NASA, the Director, OMB, and the Director, OPM, should ensure that their DVAAP coordinators establish and maintain contact with veterans representatives in state employment offices as a principal recruiting source of qualified disabled veterans.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

 

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