Job Training Partnership Act:

Data Collection Efforts and Needs

HRD-86-69BR: Published: Mar 31, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1986.

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GAO provided information on the Department of Labor's (DOL) Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) data collection system, focusing on: (1) the adequacy of the system; (2) proposed revisions to DOL reporting requirements; and (3) the extent to which these revisions address system shortcomings.

GAO found that: (1) the proposed revisions should eliminate many of the system's shortcomings; (2) the revised system should provide better data for use in setting performance standards; and (3) the revised system will provide more detailed information for program management and oversight. However, GAO also found that the remaining system limitations may continue to cause the generation of incomplete or unreliable data for congressional oversight. Major limitations remaining include: (1) a lack of specific definitions, which leads to poor data comparability; (2) inconsistency in the types and amounts of data maintained among service delivery areas (SDA), which could result in nonrepresentative estimates of JTPA participant characteristics and termination outcomes; and (3) a lack of sufficient information to adequately measure the amount of training provided to program participants. In addition, GAO found that the new DOL plan for evaluating JTPA through a series of experiments in SDA: (1) represents a significant improvement over its original approach; and (2) is a superior method of evaluating the program's effect, despite some problems and limitations.

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