Washington, D. C. 20210






December 16, 2002




December 31, 2003











Office of Workforce Security




Unemployment Insurance Data Validation (UI DV) Status and Guidance for Fiscal Year (FY) 2003.

  1. Purpose. To report on the status of UI DV implementation, provide FY 2003 directions, and identify U. S. Department of Labor (Department) National Office UI DV contacts.

  2. References. Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) No. 03-01, “Unemployment Insurance Data Validation (UI DV) Program Update and Implementation Plans” (October 23, 2000), UIPL 14-02, “Unemployment Insurance Data Validation (UI DV) Program Implementation Plan” (February 22, 2002).

  3. Background. On December 17, 2001, the Office of Management and Budget approved the UI DV program. UIPL 14-02 explained that all states must implement the UI DV program by the target date of July 31, 2003.

    Throughout FY 2002, UI DV implementation activities continued. UI DV contractors Sparhawk Group, Inc., (SteveM@SparhawkGroup.com) and Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR), (WBorden@mathematica-mpr.com) provided training and technical assistance. The generic benefits and tax validation handbooks (Modules 1 and 2) were updated and posted to the OWS Web site. As states provided changes, MPR and Sparhawk updated the state-specific portions of the benefits and tax validation handbooks (Module 3) and returned the updated versions to states for their use. MPR continued to refine the UI DV software that performs all standardized validation functions. The latest versions of both the benefits and tax software modules and the generic UI DV handbooks are posted to the OWS Web site at oui.doleta.gov/dv. By the end of CY 2002, it is expected that staff from 46 states will have been trained.

  4. Implementation Expectations During FY 2003. As stated, the target date for all states to fully implement the UI DV program is July 31, 2003. We are prepared to train and provide complete technical assistance in UI DV in time for all remaining states to meet this deadline. Full implementation involves completion of all validation tasks by July 31, 2003, and the preparation and transmission of output reports covering all 19 validated populations (14 benefits and 5 tax) to the National Office by September 30, 2003. Each state will determine which report period(s) to validate. The periods used for validation depend on the frequency of the reports to which the populations relate. Seven of the benefits populations relate to monthly reports; for these, any month may be validated. The other seven benefits populations relate to quarterly, or a combination of monthly and quarterly, reports. When data from a population relate to both monthly and quarterly reports (e.g., both the monthly 5159 and quarterly 218 reports include Final Payments), the validation period is a quarter and the sum of three monthly report counts will be compared with the validation count. The ETA 581 report is quarterly, so all tax populations must be validated for a quarter. Full implementation does not mean that all populations or sub-populations must pass validation, but that all quantity and quality examinations required by the validation handbook must be completed and the results reported. The validation software produces summary results of all validation activities in the form of two Excel spreadsheets for each population (one for the count reconstruction and one for the sample-based quality validation). These spreadsheets are to be sent by e-mail to the Department’s National Office at <dscott@doleta.gov >. A copy should also be sent to the Regional DV coordinator. States must maintain copies of all Excel spreadsheets sent to the Department to document their compliance with the requirement to perform the validations. Initially, the Department will store these results in Excel spreadsheet form.

    States that will not be able to complete their validations by July 30, 2003, and report the results to the Department by September 30, 2003, must include a detailed corrective action plan (CAP) in their FY 2004 State Quality Service Plan specifying: (1) when they plan to complete UI DV implementation, and (2) the steps they will take to ensure full implementation. If CAPs involve training, the training must occur before December 31, 2003. In addition, states that cannot begin the implementation of UI DV by September 30, 2003, must also conduct a full Workload Validation (WV) according to the requirements of Handbook 361. The WV must be completed by September 30, 2003, unless the National Office grants a waiver based on the Regional Office’s recommendation.

  5. The Validation Cycle, Validation Requirements and GPRA Exceptions. In general, the validation cycle will be once every three years, unless there is failure to pass a validation test, in which case the state must do a mandatory CAP and revalidate the missed population or subpopulation within one year. The normal criteria for passing are: the reconstructed counts must be within +/- 2% of the reported count (quantitative comparison); and the quality samples contain no more than 5% invalid transactions. [See the Benefits Validation Handbook, pp. F.9, A.67]

    There are exceptions to these norms involving data used for indicators of performance under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). The Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has emphasized the need to ensure the validity of data used for indicators of performance under the GPRA. At present, there are three UI GPRA indicators: the percent of intrastate first payments made within 14/21 days; the percent of new status determinations made within 90 days of the end of the quarter in which liability occurred; and the dollar amount of overpayments established by Benefit Payment Control (BPC) as a percent of the BAM estimate of recoverable overpayments most detectable by BPC. In response to the OIG’s concerns, two changes were made to the general requirements to provide additional assurance that GPRA measures will be based on accurate data.

  6. National Office UI DV Contacts. Questions about UI DV matters should be referred to Doug Scott at (202) 693-3191 (e-mail dscott@doleta.gov) or to Burman Skrable at (202) 693-3197 (e-mail bskrable@doleta.gov).

  7. Action Required. State Workforce Administrators are requested to:

  8. Inquiries. Please refer any questions to the appropriate Regional Office, or to Doug Scott [(202) 693-3191] or Burman Skrable [(202) 693-3197] in the National Office.