Disabled Veterans' Employment:

Performance Standards Needed to Assess Program Results

T-GGD-89-18: Published: Apr 27, 1989. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 1989.

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GAO discussed its: (1) review of the effectiveness of the Disabled Veterans' Affirmative Action Program (DVAAP) at the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM); and (2) analysis of the OPM role as governmentwide DVAAP manager. GAO found that: (1) it could not assess DVAAP effectiveness because authorizing legislation and regulations did not establish performance standards or other criteria to measure DVAAP success; (2) DOL and OPM were more successful at employing and advancing disabled veterans than HHS, NASA, and OMB; (3) from 1982 through 1987, veterans employment at the five agencies declined, and none of the agencies conducted the required analyses to define or correct disabled veterans' employment problems; (4) the United States Postal Service and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs employed more disabled veterans than other agencies; (5) the governmentwide promotion rate for disabled veterans compared with other government employees was 83 percent in 1986; and (6) agency officials cited limited hiring opportunities, disabled veterans' lack of interest in entry-level positions, and low education levels as contributory factors for the low employment rate. GAO also found that most DVAAP coordinators perceived the program as falling short of achieving its objectives.

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