Sneak Preview: Calif. Agency Needs Better Jobs Data Oversight

January 3, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The California Employment Development Department should work with the U.S. Department of Labor to develop reasonable controls to avoid overstating the progress of its workforce development programs based on inadequate data, the California Office of State Auditor recommended in a recent audit.

CEDD, through its Workforce Services Branch, helps California residents, including veterans, find jobs. Funding for these jobs comes from the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933 and the Jobs for Veterans State Grant. CEDD is required to submit performance data to DOL on participants in its workforce development system, including the employment rate, employment retention rate and participants’ average earnings.

However, OSA questioned the reliability of the state’s performance statistics due to poor data. For example, the performance measures were based on information in the state’s Base Wage File, yet OSA noted more than 1,400 instances in the file where a single Social Security number was associated with 10 or more different names in a single quarter, and in one instance, with 162 names.

“As an entity of state government, the department has a responsibility to the state’s citizens to provide information to law enforcement when the department reasonably suspects that individuals are reporting or otherwise using Social Security numbers inappropriately,” OSA said. “Unless it periodically reviews data in the Base Wage File and reports suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities, the department is missing an opportunity to thwart potential identity theft.”

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