Veterans' Employment and Training Service:

Focusing on Program Results to Improve Agency Performance

T-HEHS-97-129: Published: May 7, 1997. Publicly Released: May 7, 1997.

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Carlotta C. Joyner
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GAO discussed the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) and its initiatives in response to the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), focusing on: (1) the value of GPRA in improving agency performance; (2) the employment and training performance measures currently used in VETS; (3) VETS' response to GPRA; and (4) GAO's assessment of VETS' response.

GAO noted that: (1) GPRA is a powerful tool that brings discipline to program management by requiring agencies to clarify their missions, establish goals and a strategy for reaching them, measure performance, and report on their accomplishments; (2) GAO's work at VETS has shown that its current performance measures focus more on process than on results; (3) VETS has now developed a draft strategic plan and performance measures, consistent with GPRA, and has submitted it to the Office of Management and Budget for review; (4) GAO believes the proposed performance measures for employment and training services are an improvement over VETS' current approach because of their increased focus on results; (5) but the plan, so far, is a draft and has not received final approval by the Department of Labor or been incorporated into an overall departmental strategic plan; (6) in addition, development of a strategic plan and improved performance measures does not guarantee improved performance; and (7) continued senior management commitment and effective implementation are necessary to achieve the improved agency performance that is envisioned by GPRA.

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