ERIC Number: ED409495
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jun-5
Reference Count: N/A
Veterans Benefits Administration: Focusing on Results in Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Programs. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Benefits, Committee on Veterans' Affairs, House of Representatives. Statement of Cynthia M. Fagnoni, Acting Associate Director, Veterans' Affairs and Military Health Care Issues, Health, Education, and Human Services Division.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
This document reports testimony provided at a hearing on the progress made and challenges faced by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) in implementing the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993. The Results Act was passed to require agencies to define their missions clearly, set goals, measure performance, and report on their accomplishments. The hearing focused on two VBA programs that accounted for about $1.3 billion of VBA's $20 billion fiscal year 1996 appropriation: vocational rehabilitation/counseling and educational assistance. According to the testimony, VBA has taken an important first step in implementing the Results Act, but the process is still evolving. To date, VBA has developed a strategic plan with a mission and goals and has begun consulting with Congress and other stakeholders to obtain their views on its plan. For the vocational rehabilitation and educational assistance programs, VBA has identified specific goals and measures that are primarily process oriented. VBA must strive to focus its strategic plan on results and not merely on the process used to administer the benefits. In addition, to achieve high quality service, VBA needs to integrate its strategic plan with Veterans' Affairs overall plan and with the plans of other key federal agencies. Later, VBA will also need to ensure that it effectively measures and assesses its performance to determine how well its programs are meeting the goals and to redirect efforts as needed. (KC)
Descriptors: Compliance (Legal), Evaluation Methods, Federal Legislation, Outcomes of Education, Postsecondary Education, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Retirement Benefits, Veterans, Veterans Education, Vocational Rehabilitation
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015; fax: 301-258-4066; http://www.gao.gov (first copy free; additional copies $2 each; 100 or more: 25% discount).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.