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Veterans' Program Letter No. 6-97

January 17, 1997

Veteran's Program Letter No. 6-97

Memorandum for: All Regional Administrators and Directors for Veterans' Employment and Training and All State Employmnet Security Agency Administrators (SESAs) and All Regional Administrators, Employment and Training Administration

From: Preston M. Taylor Jr.

Subject: Government Accounting Office (GAO)

Review of the Disabled Veterans' Outreach

Program (DVOP) and Local Veterans'

Employment Representative (LVER) Program

I. Purpose: To inform VETS' staff and SESAs of the impending GAO review of the DVOP/LVER Program, the timeline phases, and who will be directly involved.

II. Background: The House Veterans Affairs Committee has requested that the GAO undertake a review of the DVOP/LVER Program. VETS understanding is that the review is to be a "descriptive" review of what DVOPs and LVERs do and their relationships with other agencies (See Attachment). GAO staff have already contacted several VETS, staff and made some field visits (Colorado, National Veterans' Training Institute (NVTI), Pennsylvania, the DV/LV Regional Lead Center and Massachusetts).

III. Guidance: The next phase of the review involves a survey of all Directors for Veterans' Employment and Training,(DVET) during December and January. GAO staff will contact VETS' staff to arrange for the phone interviews.

The followup phase, scheduled for February and March 1997, will involve a written survey of all DVOP/LVER staff. Several more site visits will occur early in the year.

IV. Action: Both VETS' and SESA staff, including DVOPs and LVERS, involved in the survey, should be prepared to respond fully to GAO inquiries and requests for information. It is expected that VETS' and SESA staff will be completely candid when providing the information requested.

V. Inquiries: VETS' staff will be kept informed as schedules are finalized. DVETs should keep SESA staff apprised of changes as they occur. If you have any questions about the GAO review contact Ron Benson directly at (202) 219-9110.

I have every confidence that the interaction between the GAO staff, VETS' staff and SESA staff will be positive and the review will be helpful.

VI. Expiration: September 30, 1997

Attachment

GAO

United States

General Accounting Office

Washington, D.C. 20548

Health Education and

Human Services Division

December 6, 1996

The Honorable Steve Buyer

Chairman, Subcommittee on Education, Training

Employment, and Housing

Committee on Veterans' Affairs

House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Your letter of April 7, 1995 information on the status of two Department of Labor programs that provide employment assistance to veterans- Local Veterans' Employment Representatives (LVERs) and Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Specialists (referred to as DVOPs). This letter confirms our commitment to provide descriptive information on these programs. As agreed with your staff during our October 28, 1996 meeting, we will complete our work and issue a written product to you by October 17, 1997. The enclosure sets forth the understanding reached with your staff on the key aspects of the study.

We look forward to working with you and your staff on this assignment. If you should have questions, you may contact me on (202) 512-7014 or Sigurd Nilsen, Assistant Director, on (202) 512-7003.

Sincerely yours,

Carlotta C. Joyner

Director, Education and

Employment Issues

Enclosure

TERMS OF WORK

Veterans' Employment Services Provided by

Local Veterans' Employment Representatives and

Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Specialists

Code 205320

I. Objective and Key Questions

GAO will provide descriptive information on the status of two DOL programs that provide employment assistance to veterans-Local Veterans' Employment Representative (LVERs) and Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Specialist (referred to as DVOPs). For both the DVOP and LVER programs, GAO will examine:

(1) the national funding trend over the last 10-year period;

(2) how funds are allocated;

(3) how performance is measured;

(4) qualifications and characteristics of DVOPs/LVERs;

(5) how DVOP/LVER time is spent ; and

(6) how DVOPs/LVER integrate with other veterans' employment services including VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Counseling (VR&C).

II. Scope

For national funding trends, we will obtain historical data from 1986 through 1996. For a national perspective on DVOP and LVER program operation, we will interview national Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) officials; we will also contact national VA officials to obtain information about the MOU between VETS and VR&C. We will conduct semi-structured telephone interviews with all 50 states VETS directors (DVETs) to obtain state-specific information. Additionally, to obtain information from the DVOP/LVER perspective, we will administer a mail survey to all DVOPs and LVERs. Further, we will make several site visits to document how DVOPs/LVERs spend their time and integrate with other veterans' employment services.

III. Methodology

To document the 10-year national funding trend, we will obtain data from VETS for FY 1996 through FY 1996. To explain how DVOP and LVER funding is allocated, we will describe the federal funding formula and report on how to formula is translated into federal funds to states. We will also conduct semi-structured telephone interviews with all 50 VETS state directors to determine how and why states may differ on how they spend their DVOP and LVER allocations and to what extent states supplement federal funding in providing employment services to veterans. We will also obtain information form state directors regarding the qualifications form DVOP and LVER positions in each state.

To report on DVOP/LVER program performance, we will describe the compliance requirements for DVOP and LVER programs. We will report on the national quantitative performance standards and whether any states have additional performance standards for the DVOP/LVER program. We will also describe the process for monitoring performance and report on states' DVOP LVER program performance.

Because no data base exists showing the demographics of DVOPs and LVERs, we will administer a population survey to identify certain characteristics. This information will provide an overview of DVOP/LVER characteristics on national basis as well as state-by- state. We will also rely on the DVOP/LVER population survey and site visits to provide qualitative measures of how DVOPs and LVERs spend their time and how they integrate with other veterans employment services such as Vocational Rehabilitation & Counseling.

IV. Product Delivery Date

Our written report will be issued on October 17, 1997.

V. Special Conditions

None.

VI. Reporting on Job Status

We will be available at any time to discuss the assignment with you or your staff.