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

UI Performs

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

OWS/DPM

ISSUE DATE

May 18, 2004

RESCISSIONS

None

EXPIRATION DATE

May 31, 2005

ADVISORY : UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM LETTER NO. 21-04
 
TO : STATE WORKFORCE AGENCIES
 
FROM : CHERYL ATKINSON s/s
Administrator
Office of Workforce Security
 
SUBJECT : Proposed Changes to UI Performs

  1. Purpose.To provide an opportunity for comment on proposed changes to the unemployment insurance (UI) performance management system "UI Performs."

  2. References.Federal Unemployment Tax Act; Title III of the Social Security Act; 20 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 640 and 650; Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) 41-95, "Draft Narrative Describing the System for Enhancing Unemployment Insurance (UI) Performance: The "UI Performs" System" (August 24, 1995); UIPL 06-03, "Review of UI Performs" (November 25, 2002); UIPL 37-99, "UI PERFORMS Tier I and Tier II Performance Measures, and Minimum Performance Criteria for Tier I Measures" (July 31, 1999); Employment and Training (ET) Handbook No. 336, 17th Edition, "Unemployment Insurance State Quality Service Plan Planning and Reporting Guidelines" (June 18, 2002); ET Handbook No. 401, 3rd Edition, "Unemployment Insurance Reports Handbook" and subsequent changes.

  3. Background. Over the period 1993 to 1997 two joint federal-state workgroups designed a comprehensive performance management system for the UI program and gave it the name UI Performs. Two kinds of measures emerged from this process: Tier I measures for which minimum national criteria were set and Tier II measures for which criteria were not set. Tier I and Tier II measures and Tier I criteria were promulgated in July 1999. Planning and budget cycles at the state level are structured around State Quality Service Plans (SQSP) which include performance objectives related to Tier I and Tier II measures.

    The UI Performs design also called for a review of the system within five (5) years of implementation. This initial review and resulting recommendations are discussed below.

  4. The Review. The review of UI Performs, which began with the publication of UIPL 06–03 asking state agencies to identify issues relevant to the UI Performs system, addressed: (a) the performance measures; (b) the criteria used to gauge success against the measures; and (c) the administration of UI Performs. Issues raised by the 21 states that responded to UIPL 06–03, a proposal by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA), and issues raised by Federal staff formed the basis for the review, which was conducted in consultation with a NASWA workgroup. The consultative process clarified the issues and informed many of the proposed changes described below.

    Two overarching themes were found in the issues raised: (1) the large number of measures to which the states are held accountable diffuses management attention and (2) the administration of UI Performs is too complex and burdensome on the states. The review resulted in the following proposal to streamline UI Performs.

  5. Proposal. The Department proposes to streamline UI Performs in three (3) ways:

    a) Reduce the number of measures for which performance goals are set to a few "core" measures. This will allow states to better focus on the most critical program areas.
    b) Recognize remaining measures as management information for which no performance goals will be set. All current performance measures not designated as "core" will be available to state and Federal partners as management information.
    c) Streamline the SQSP narrative. The narrative requirement will be reduced and will focus on performance issues.

    The Department proposes two categories of measures for the streamlined UI Performs: 1) Core Measures and 2) Management Information Measures. The measure categories and the review and reporting requirements that would underlie the revised UI Performs system are described below.

    Measures.

    Regulations. Secretary’s Standards for benefit payment promptness and lower authority appeals promptness are found in 20 CFR Parts 640 and 650, respectively. Changes to the regulations will be proposed to reflect the measures and criteria noted above for first payment promptness and average age of pending appeals. (The change to the appeals promptness measure is contingent upon the outcome of a pilot test currently underway. See Appendix C.) Until the regulations are changed, the current measures and criteria will remain in force. Failure to meet criteria established in regulation will require corrective action.

    Program Reviews and Reporting Requirements. States perform a variety of reviews and submit various reports as part of the overall performance management system. No changes to these reviews and reports (listed below) are proposed. However, efforts to correct deficiencies regarding these reviews and reports will be addressed in the SQSP narratives rather than by CAPs.

  6. Administering UI Performs. The SQSP, which each state negotiates annually with the Federal partner, will continue to be central to the administration of UI Performs. The Department proposes that the SQSP will include narratives and CAPs:

  7. Studies Affecting Core Measures. In order to improve several Core Measures, the Department is conducting a number of studies. They are described in Appendix C.

  8. Publishing Data. Three categories of performance data will be published each year:

  9. Effective Dates for Implementing Changes. The Department proposes to begin implementing the changes in UI Performs with the SQSP for FY 2006 that states will prepare during the summer of 2005. UI Performs will use data from the Performance Year that extends from April 1, 2004, to March 31, 2005, for the FY 2006 SQSP. Implementation of the few measures for which data are not currently available will be phased in as the measures are finalized and the requisite programming is completed.

  10. Action. State Workforce Agency administrators are requested to review and comment on the recommended changes to the UI Performs system by July 23, 2004. In addition to comments about specific measures, we would appreciate comments on preferred nomenclature for CAPs and ALPs. Please provide the following information for each comment:

    1. Identify the section of this UIPL being commented on by topic or by section number.
    2. Include supporting data or rationale along with the comment.
    3. Recommend a course of action, with rationale.
    4. Provide the name, phone, fax, and e-mail address for the person who can answer questions or provide further information about the comment and recommendation.

    Address mailed or faxed comments to:

    Cheryl Atkinson, Administrator
    Office of Workforce Security
    U.S. Department of Labor
    Room S4231
    Washington, DC 20210
    Attention: Geri Oberloh
    Telephone: 202-693-3194 (Not a toll-free number)
    Fax number: 202-693-3975

    E-mail comments are welcome and should be directed to Oberloh.Geri@dol.gov

  11. Inquiries. Direct inquiries to your regional office.

  12. Appendices.

    Appendix A: Comparison of Current to Proposed Measures.
    Appendix B: Management Information.
    Appendix C: Studies Affecting Core Measures