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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210

CLASSIFICATION

UI/BQC

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

TEUQS

ISSUE DATE

April 6, 1993

RESCISSIONS

None

EXPIRATION DATE

March 31, 1994

DIRECTIVE

:

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM LETTER NO. 21-93

 

TO

:

ALL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES

 

FROM

:

BARBARA ANN FARMER
Administrator
for Regional Management

 

SUBJECT

:

Procedures for Release of Unemployment Insurance Benefits Quality Control (BQC) Data

 

  1. Purpose. To provide State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs) with guidelines for the annual release of Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits Quality Control (BQC) program data for Calendar Year (CY) 1992.

  2. References. 20 CFR 602; Federal Register Notice, March 26, 1990, 54 FR 11112; UIPL 13-93, January 12, 1993; and Benefits Quality Control State Operations Handbook, ET Handbook 395.

  3. Background. The final rule to establish the Unemployment Insurance Quality Control program is found at 20 CFR Part 602. Effective October 5, 1987, QC programs in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have selected weekly random samples of UI benefit payments for investigation under the mandatory program.

    20 CFR 602.21 (g) provides that each State shall:

    Release the results of the QC program at the same time each year, providing calendar year results using a standardized format to present the data as prescribed by the Department; States will have the opportunity to release this information prior to any release by the Department.

    The notice of procedures for the release of BQC data for the UI program was published in the Federal Register on March 26, 1990, at 54 FR 11112.

  4. Date of Record. The Department has established close of business (c.o.b.) April 30, 1993, as the date of record for State databases for computation of the error rates for the Annual Report of BQC data for CY 1992. All information in the Annual Report will be based on CY 1992 BQC cases that have been signed off by the QC supervisor by c.o.b. April 30, 1993. States must not update any CY 1992 BQC cases after this date until they have reviewed the computations of the error rates and have reconciled any differences. Any data analysis supporting the Annual Report must be run on the database as it exists at c.o.b. on April 30. If States make any further changes, their data and results will differ from the data and results of the National Office. These differences will then have to be reconciled.

  5. Annual Report Software. The software for the Annual Report has been modified to exclude Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program eligibility option cases, as described in UIPL 13-93, from the rates calculations. The software also adjusts the population dollars paid to exclude these EUC cases. The footnote look-up table has been updated to reflect CY 1992 data. States may run the rates as soon as all cases are completed. The date of record is c.o.b. April 30, 1993.

    The National Office will produce an Annual Report for each State, based on the BQC cases as of c.o.b. April 30, 1993.

  6. Annual Report Format. The Annual Report format is shown in Attachment 1. It is divided into three main sections.

    Quality Control Data

    The narrative may include, but is not limited to, a discussion of State laws and how they affect error rates, an explanation of circumstances that led to some degree of inaccuracy in the reported error rates, and proposed or actual corrective action strategies.

    State narratives must be received in the National Office no later than June 11, 1993. States not planning to submit a narrative should notify the National Office by June 11, 1993, that no narrative will be submitted. The procedures for preparing and transmitting the Annual Report narrative to the National Office are described in Attachment 3.

  7. Supplemental Data. In order for the SESAs to interpret the data in the Annual Report and provide narrative explanations of the data, the Department recognizes the need for additional information on cause and responsibility. The software that produces the BQC Annual Report will also generate a separate report consisting of up to 16 responsibility categories and up to 6 cause categories. If the categories are equal to "0" the item will not be displayed in the table. Responsibility and cause data will be reported as percentages of UI dollars overpaid. The format for this report is shown in Attachment 4.

    In order to provide States with the greatest flexibility in interpreting the data, all possible responsibility codes and broad cause categories can be generated. States can combine categories which contain few sample cases, where appropriate. No sampling errors will be computed because the publication of these percentage rates is not mandatory. States should be aware that many of these percentages are based on small numbers of BQC sample cases and may have relatively large sampling errors. The Department will publish such data in the technical appendix, along with additional analysis where appropriate.

  8. Comment Period. BQC Annual Reports produced by the Department of Labor will be transmitted to each State on May 14, 1993. Each State should review its Annual Report and if there are any comments submit them to the National Office (Attn: TEUQS, Andy Spisak) by May 28, 1993. SESA comments will be discussed and reconciled by June 7, 1993.

  9. Public Release by SESA. As stated in the Federal Register notice of March 26, 1990:

    Each State will release the required data annually through established channels for disseminating State performance data. In accordance with established State procedures, the data must be provided to those who normally receive performance/evaluation data and to anyone else who requests it. It is no longer necessary to publish a notice of availability.

    States must release their Annual Reports by June 25, 1993. If a State fails to release data in accordance with these procedures, the Department, in its annual review of State QC operations as specified in 20 CFR, Part 602, Section 602.31, will take appropriate action.

  10. Federal Release of Data. The Department will announce the availability of QC program data for CY 1992 through a notice published in the Federal Register on or about July 30, 1993. The Department's publication will be a digest prefaced by background information on the Quality Control program, and a brief discussion of how the error rate estimates are computed. Readers will be discouraged from comparing results among States. Each State's section, including its Annual Report and narrative, will be displayed separately. State sections will be ordered alphabetically to discourage ranking and comparisons. The name of the State official designated by the State as its Annual Report contact will also be published.

    For CY 1992, the Department will continue the practice begun with CY 1989 data of publishing certain analytical information on aspects of the BQC findings.

    If the Department determines that a State has failed to follow the prescribed QC methodology--in terms of sample selection, data collection methodology, or case completion timeliness--to such an extent that the data are not reliable, the Department will publish an explanation of the major deficiency in lieu of an Annual Report for that State. Also in accordance with instructions in the Program and Budget Plan, ET Handbook No. 336 (2nd edition), States will be required to address these areas by submitting corrective action plans for the upcoming fiscal year.

  11. Key Dates. The following is a summary of key dates for the public release of CY 1992 BQC data.

    3/1-4/30: States identify EUC program eligibility option cases and update Program Code field of the UI database.
    4/30: Date of record for State BQC databases; State BQC supervisors sign-off cases by c.o.b.
    4/30: Department of Labor electronically transmits the modified Annual Report software and footnote look-up table to each State's Artecon/Sun computer.
    5/5-5/14: Department of Labor generates Annual Reports for all States.
    5/14: Department of Labor sends Annual Reports to the States.
    5/17-5/28: States review Annual Reports and submit comments regarding discrepancies to Department of Labor.
    6/1-6/7: Department of Labor and States discuss and reconcile comments.
    6/11: States provide information on contact persons to Department of Labor ETA Regional Administrators. States submit narratives to Department of Labor National Office. States not submitting narratives notify DOL National Office.
    6/25: States release CY 1992 BQC Annual Report.
    7/30: Department of Labor publishes notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of BQC data.

  12. Action Required. State Administrators are requested to:

    1. provide copies of these guidelines to the appropriate staff and

    2. ensure that the following information is supplied to ETA Regional Administrators:

        (1)  the name, location, and telephone number of a contact person to whom interested parties can write or call with questions or inquiries about the State's annual release of BQC data by June 11, 1993;

        (2)  a copy of the State annual BQC data release by June 25, 1993; and

        (3)  copies of any press releases and/or newspaper articles relating to the Annual Report released by the SESA for CY 1992 by July 9, 1993.

  13. Inquiries. Questions should be directed to the appropriate Regional Office.

  14. Attachments.