EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION
ADVISORY SYSTEM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Washington, D. C. 20210
CLASSIFICATION

UI

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

OWS/DPM

ISSUE DATE

November 21, 2003

RESCISSIONS

None

EXPIRATION DATE

September 30, 2004

ADVISORY

:

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM LETTER NO. 03-04

 

TO

:

STATE WORKFORCE AGENCIES

 

FROM

:

CHERYL ATKINSON s/s
Administrator
Office of Workforce Security

 

SUBJECT

:

Unemployment Insurance Data Validation (UI DV) Program Status and Guidance

  1. Purpose. To report on the status of UI DV implementation, provide pertinent information on program implementation policies for fiscal years (FY) 2004 and 2005, identify key contacts for assistance and technical information, and provide questions and answers related to DV issues.

  2. References. Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) No. 03-01, "Unemployment Insurance Data Validation (UI DV) Program Update and Implementation Plans" (October 23, 2000); UIPL 14-02, "Unemployment Insurance Data Validation (UI DV) Program Implementation Plan" (February 22, 2002); UIPL 10-03, "Unemployment Insurance Data Validation (UI DV) Status and Guidance for Fiscal Year (FY) 2003" (December 16, 2002); UIPL 28-03, "Call Memo for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 Unemployment Insurance (UI) State Quality Service Plan (SQSP)," (July 2, 2003).

  3. Background. The Office of Management and Budget approved the UI DV program in December 2001, as a cost-effective means of ensuring the accuracy of data used for performance measurement as well as budget development and allocation. States were asked to implement the DV program by July 31, 2003, and were required to report validation results to the Department of Labor (DOL) by September 30, 2003. States not implementing UI DV were to conduct a Workload Validation by September 30, 2003, unless a waiver was granted.

  4. Status. During 2003, most states carried out UI DV implementation activities to meet the September 30, 2003, deadline for reporting UI DV results. In the course of implementing UI DV, many states identified issues and raised questions about the validation process, definitions, and operation of the Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) software. These issues have been resolved in a variety of ways:

    Attached to this UIPL is a summary in question-and-answer format of the major issues and how they have been resolved. This summary will be posted to the Office of Workforce Security (OWS) Web site, and additional issues will be added as needed.

    Also during 2003, OWS staff developed a database to store validation results using Microsoft Access®. States were originally instructed to export their results using an Excel® spreadsheet option built into the MPR validation software, and e-mail the spreadsheets to the National Office, which would compile them. As the database was refined, it became apparent that it would be much more efficient to receive validation results as text files instead of as Excel® spreadsheets. Accordingly, MPR incorporated a text file export option into Benefits Version 1.6 and Tax Version 1.5 (both released in August 2003). States should use the text file option to transmit results of all validations completed after they have installed the August 2003 software versions and e-mail them to the address given below. However, validations completed using Benefits Software Version 1.5 or earlier, or Tax Version 1.4 or earlier, may be submitted in Excel® format.

    By the end of October, two states had submitted all required validation reports to the Department. Twenty-one other states submitted partial sets of reports, while the Department had received no reports from 22 additional states that were known to be conducting validation activities. Eight states had not begun any validations.

    Further, four states have yet to receive either benefits training or tax training or both. No training will be available after December 31, 2003, when the training contract with Sparhawk Group, Inc., ends. Some states have expressed an interest in refresher training; such requests will be honored if resources permit.

  5. Actions and Policies in FY 2004. DOL's emphasis on completing the implementation of UI DV will continue in FY 2004. States unable to submit validation results for all 15 benefits and all five tax populations by the September 30, 2003 deadline were to "include a detailed CAP [Corrective Action Plan] in their FY 2004 SQSP specifying (1) when they plan to complete UI DV implementation and (2) the steps they will take to ensure full implementation" (UIPL 28-03). For the FY 2004 SQSP, no CAPs were required if a validated population or sub-population failed the validation test of being within ±2 percent for quantity validation or ±5 percent for quality. States are expected to correct reporting deficiencies that caused the validation failure even though no CAP was required for the FY 2004 SQSP.

    We will also develop and promulgate a policy on how validation results and performance measurement results will be linked. This policy will indicate how workload data used for budget formulation and allocation, as well as performance results used for both UI PERFORMS and the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), are to be interpreted in the light of information on the underlying quality of the data used for the performance measures.

    During FY 2004, the standardized data validation software developed by MPR will be rewritten to run on the Departmentís Sun/Unix computers that every state uses for reporting operations. The goal is for all validation operations from FY 2005 onward to be conducted in that environment. We urge state validation teams to identify changes in the existing MPR software and in related validation procedures that will improve validation operations so that these can be incorporated into the Department's version of the validation software.

  6. Actions and Policies in FY 2005. For the FY 2005 SQSP, states will be required to prepare CAPs for any uncompleted populations, and CAPs will be required to correct any report elements that failed to pass validation during FY 2004. Also beginning in FY 2005, per a requirement of DOLís Office of Inspector General, the validations of the sub-populations pertaining to the GPRA elements will use tighter tolerances (±1 percent instead of ±2 percent) and will be done annually. Validation results will be regularly reported as part of the UI PERFORMS Annual Report.

  7. DV Contacts. DOL National Office contacts for the UI DV program are Mr. Burman Skrable at (202) 693-3197 and Mr. Douglas Scott at (202) 693-3191). Results of state validations should be sent as an e-mail attachment in text format or Excel® format to dvrpts@uis.doleta.gov. Technical software support (benefits and tax) is available from Mathematica Policy Research (phone Ms. Grace Roemer at (609) 936-2782, or e-mail UITA@mathematica-mpr.com). The Web site maintained by OWS for the DV program can be accessed at oui.doleta.gov/dv. This site is also the source for the current release of both the UI benefit and tax validation software and accompanying documentation.

  8. Actions Required. State Workforce Agency Administrators are requested to:

  9. Inquiries. Please refer any questions to the appropriate RO, or Mr. Burman Skrable at (202) 693-3197 or Mr. Douglas Scott at (202) 693-3191.

  10. Attachment. Questions and Answers Pertaining to Unemployment Insurance Data Validation (UIDV) Issues.