Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210






February 02, 1993




December 31, 1994











Barbara Ann Farmer
for Regional Management




Certifications Waiving Workers' Participation in TrainingUnder the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program

  1. Purpose: To ensure that States follow correct procedures in providing training waivers for workers in the TAA Program.

  2. Contact: Direct questions to the appropriate Regional Office.

  3. References: The Trade Act of 1974 as amended; regulations at 20 CFR 617; GAL 4-89, and Change l; Section C of APPENDIX A to GAL 15-90; and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Audit Report No. 05-93-008-03-330.

  4. Background: The OIG recently completed an audit of the TAA Program in nine selected States. The OIG conducted the audit to determine if the TAA program assisted workers to find suitable employment and, where training was needed, how States managed their training efforts. States audited were Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

    The OIG concluded that ETA and the States did not know if the program is effective in assisting workers to return to suitable employment. The OIG felt that data necessary to evaluate the program are not available because clearly defined objectives, follow up and relevant performance measures are lacking. Among its recommendations, the OIG indicated that ETA should strengthen controls over the granting of waivers from the TAA training requirement if it is to meet the training and reemployment goals for workers implied by the Trade Act.

    Among the waiver issues cited by the OIG were: no evidence that waivers were periodically reviewed as required; lack of documentation showing special conditions or other justifications for waivers; and numerous cases in which waivers may have been granted for unreasonable time periods, were counterproductive, or may have been contrary to the intent of the program. The OIG also reported that

    States used waivers to allow participants to receive TRA payments, even though training may have been feasible and appropriate in many cases . This practice may be a disincentive for training and send mixed signals about the priorities of the TAA program.

    This GAL restates the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) guidance for issuance of TAA certifications waiving workers' participation in TAA training and administrative processes which States must have in place to ensure proper administration of the waiver of training requirements.

  5. States' Responsibility: States have a positive responsibility to ensure that certifications waiving workers' participation in TAA training are granted only when it has been determined that training is not feasible or appropriate. GAL 15-90 provides specific guidance to the States on how to make a determination on whether training is "feasible or appropriate" for a TAA applicant. A determination on whether training is "feasible or appropriate" is made by evaluating whether training suitable for the worker is available, the training is approvable under Section 236, and the worker is able to take full advantage of the training and complete the training. In addition, full funding for the training must be available and the training must commence within thirty days of approval.

    In addition, when a State agency makes a determination that the training requirement will be waived for an individual, the State agency must issue a written certification to the individual of such a finding. State agencies are also required to develop a procedure to review these certifications every 30 days or less to ensure that the conditions upon which the certification was granted continue to exist. If conditions under which a waiver certification was issued have changed, the certification must be revoked if it is determined that training is now appropriate.

    Finally, State agencies must also develop procedures for compiling and reporting on the number of certifications issued and revoked, by reason. Although State agencies are not required to forward copies of individual waivers to the Department, Regional staff responsible for TAA activities will check random samples of waivers during regular ETA reviews. Operating instructions on State responsibilities for providing certifications waiving workers' participation in TAA training are issued in Section C of APPENDIX A of GAL 15-90, dated August 21, 1990.

  6. Action Required: The OIG findings underscore the importance of implementing and adhering to administrative controls on the issuances of waivers. States must inform all appropriate staff of the content of this GAL and implement the following actions.

    1. Review the State TAA program and ensure that State certifications waiving workers' participation in TAA training are granted, documented and reviewed in accordance with the guidelines described in TAA program operating instructions at Section C of APPENDIX A to GAL 15-90.

    2. Determine what procedures and administrative controls, if any, the State needs to have implemented to ensure that waivers are being reviewed every 30 days to determine the current standing of the waiver.

    3. Implement corrective action or procedures, where needed, to ensure that the State is able to compile and report on certifications and revocations in a timely and accurate manner and that the State administration of TAA training waivers is in accordance with TAA program operating instructions at Section C of APPENDIX A to GAL 15-90.