Concerns Over Labor's Ability To Implement the Job Training Partnership Act

HRD-85-61: Published: Apr 22, 1985. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration's (ETA) role in implementing the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) and the potential impact that a reduction in force and reorganization will have on its ability to carry out that role.

GAO found that, unlike the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act which it replaced, JTPA has shifted many of the administrative and oversight functions to the states, thereby reducing ETA involvement in the program. Representatives of the job training community have expressed concerns that the staff reduction will create a number of potential problems for ETA in carrying out its JTPA responsibilities, including: (1) low staff morale; (2) lost program expertise within ETA staff; and (3) lost program efficiency and program delays. GAO found that, although the states have been given primary responsibility for program administration, they have received only limited policy guidance from ETA. In addition, job training officials have indicated that some states' concerns over the lack of guidance and potential liabilities have made them cautious to try innovative job training techniques. In the absence of such guidance, there is concern that the propriety of many transactions or the associated documentation may be questioned during the audit process.

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