Veterans' Employment and Training Service:

Strategic and Performance Plans Lack Vision and Clarity

T-HEHS-99-177: Published: Jul 29, 1999. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) and its planning activities under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, focusing on: (1) VETS' strategic plan for fiscal years (FY) 1999 through 2004; and (2) VETS' FY 2000 performance plan.

GAO noted that: (1) while including each of the basic components required by the Results Act, VETS' May 1999 revised strategic plan and its FY 2000 performance plan lack vision and clarity and do not clearly identify what the program is to achieve and the direction the agency intends to take; (2) for example, the strategic plan includes a mission statement and associated strategic goals, yet neither are clearly conveyed, making it difficult to understand where VETS is trying to go and how it is planning to get there; (3) similarly, GAO found that VETS' annual performance plan provides only a limited picture of the agency's intended performance for FY 2000; (4) the planning and communication framework established by the Results Act gives VETS an opportunity to discuss its responsibilities and how it intends to fulfill them, describe areas for improvement, and discuss steps it will take to improve its performance; (5) but VETS has not taken full advantage of this opportunity; and (6) its strategic and performance plans fail to address how it will help shape the way employment services are delivered to veterans and, in particular, how it will adapt to the new employment training environment being created by technological changes and the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

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