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ETA Compliance Assistance Plan


ETA has underway two broad sets of activities to improve compliance assistance to its fund recipients: (1) an initiative to improve grant and contract administration; and (2) an initiative to eliminate program guidance that is inconsistent, conflicting, outdated or overly burdensome. In addition, ETA has planned or underway numerous specific activities related to its individual programs that will strengthen compliance assistance.

Improving Grant and Contract Administration
One of ETA's top priorities in FY 2002 has been to improve ETA grant and contract administration. In addition, since grants and contracts are a major part of ETA's mission, improving grants and contracts management will improve not only our financial management position, but the DOL as well. The ETA convened a high level workgroup to review and make recommendations on the four phases of ETA's grant and contract administration, Pre-Award, Award, Post-Award Grant Management, and Audit Resolution and Closeout.

The recommendations are intended to lead to a more results-oriented, effective and quality-driven administration of grants and contracts with greater public accountability. Many of the recommendations incorporate input from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the Office of the Solicitor (SOL).

The President's Management Agenda for FY 2002 asks agencies to: focus on results, impose consequences, and demand evidence. The President's agenda outlines three principles guiding efforts to improve the management and performance of programs in the federal government and therefore, our compliance efforts. They must be:
  • Citizen-centered;
  • Results-oriented; and
  • Market-based, promoting innovation through competition.
The Management Agenda also described five government-wide initiatives: strategic management of human capital, competitive sourcing, improved financial performance, expanded electronic government, and budget and performance integration. Three of the President's five government-wide initiatives provide important guidance for this project:

Improved Financial Performance: ETA's budget submissions must include baseline data on the extent of erroneous payments to set goals for reducing such payments. The Agency's financial systems must produce accurate and timely information to support operating, budget, and policy decisions.

Expanded Electronic Government: Public Law 106-107, the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999, in conjunction with the electronic government goals of the President's Agenda, necessitates electronic processing options in the administration of grant programs. Therse two directives mandate a government-wide e-grants initiative intended to insure strong fiscal management for federal grant funds, eliminate redundant grant processes across the government and reduce the burden on grantees.

Budget and Performance Integration: Performance reviews are being formally integrated with budget decisions. ETA will identify high quality outcome measures, accurately monitor programs' performance, and integrate this presentation with associated costs.

Program Guidance
By direction of the Deputy Secretary, ETA initiated a Regulatory Cleanup Initiative designed to eliminate regulations and other forms of guidance that are inconsistent, conflicting, outdated, or overly burdensome. This report included specific actions and timelines for each of the major programs administered by ETA that will help ETA fund recipients comply with Federal requirements applicable to the respective programs.

Several key statutes authorizing ETA-administered programs were recently reauthorized (the Older Americans Act, the Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credits, Trade Adjustment Assistance); or will be up for reauthorization in the coming year (the Workforce Investment Act). This initiative identified regulations and guidance that is outdated, inconsistent and in need of revision. These regulations and guidance will be revised following up plan submission to the Deputy Secretary.

Planned Program-Specific Compliance Assistance Activities
ETA has planned or underway numerous specific activities related to its individual programs that will strengthen compliance assistance. For information about compliance assistance activities pertinent to a specific program please refer to the program-specific office website at http://www.doleta.gov/etaindex.cfm.