U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210
March 30, 1992
March 31, 1993
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM LETTER NO. 21-92
ALL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES
DONALD J. KULICK
Procedures for Release of Unemployment Insurance Benefits Quality Control (BQC) Data
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) 1991.
References. 20 CFR 602; Federal Register Notice, March 26, 1990, 54 11112; andBenefits Quality Control State Operations Handbook, ET Handbook 395.
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.
Date of Record. The Department has established close of business (c.o.b.) April 24, 1992, as the date of record for State databases for computation of the error rates for the Annual Report of QC data for CY 1991. All information in the Annual Report will be based on CY 1991 QC cases that have been signed off by the QC supervisor by c.o.b. April 24, 1992. States must not update any CY 1991 QC 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 24. If States make any further changes, their data and results will differ from the data and results of the National Office (NO). These differences will then have to be reconciled.
Annual Report Software. The current software for the Annual Report will not change in regard to the computation of rates. Some modifications have been made to the footnotes, as described below. States may run the rates as soon as all cases are completed. The date of record will be c.o.b. April 24, 1992.
The National Office will produce an Annual Report for each State, based on the QC cases as of c.o.b. April 24, 1992.
Attachment 1. It is divided into three main sections.
Quality Control Data
Total Dollars Paid in Population
Total UI benefits paid to the population of UI claimants who comprise the sampling frames for all weeks in CY 1991 for which the State pulled a QC sample.
Total UI payments selected during CY 1991 (QC batches 9101 through 9152) and completed (QC supervisor sign-off) by c.o.b. April 24, 1992. This is the number of QC sample cases from which the rates and sampling errors (confidence intervals) are estimated.
The weighted ratio estimate of total dollars properly paid to total dollars paid expressed as a percentage.
The weighted ratio estimate of total dollars overpaid to total dollars paid expressed as a percentage.
The weighted ratio estimate of total dollars underpaid to total dollars paid expressed as a percentage.
95% Confidence Interval
A confidence interval, expressed as +/- a percentage, will be constructed for each of the three estimated rates. The actual rate is expected to lie within 95 percent of the intervals constructed from repeated samples of the same size and selected in the same manner as the QC sample.
The footnotes that will appear on State QC Annual Reports to describe certain conditions that affect the data are described in Attachment 1.
Since the publication of the CY 1990 BQC data, the following changes and additions have been made to the footnotes.
Footnote 3: Reference to the possible reduction in the precision of the estimates because the State pulled BQC samples below the minimum prescribed batch levels was deleted.
Footnote 6: This footnote will only appear if the percentage on BQC cases that were not completed as of the official cut off date of April 24, 1992, exceeds the program requirement that not more than 2 percent of the cases remain incomplete.
Footnote 7: This new footnote will appear if the State's BQC sample for the calendar year is 50 or more cases below its located annual BQC sample.
Footnote 8: This new footnote will appear if the dollars paid in the State's BQC population vary from control limits.
States are invited to supply a narrative analysis that will accompany their Annual Report. The Department will include this narrative in the digest of State Annual Reports that it will prepare (see section 10, below).
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 5, 1992. If the State does not plan to submit a narrative, the State should notify the National Office by June 5, 1992, 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.
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 QC 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 QC 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.
Comment Period. QC Annual Reports produced by the Department of Labor will be transmitted to each State on May 8, 1992. 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 29, 1992. SESA comments will be discussed and reconciled by June 5, 1992.
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 26, 1992. 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.
Federal Release of Data. The Department will announce the availability of QC program data for CY 1991 through a notice published in the Federal Register on or about July 31, 1992. 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 were 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 1991, the Department will continue the practice begun with CY 1989 data of publishing certain analytical information on aspects of the QC 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.
Key Dates. The following is a summary of key dates for the public release of CY 1991 QC data.
|4/24||Department of Labor electronically updates the Annual Report software on the State PRO 380s to include footnote modifications.|
|4/24||Date of record for State QC databases; State QC supervisors sign-off cases by c.o.b.|
|4/29-5/8||Department of Labor generates Annual Reports for all States.|
|5/8||Department of Labor sends Annual Reports to the States.|
|5/11-29||States review Annual Reports and submit comments regarding discrepancies to Department of Labor.|
|6/1-5||Department of Labor and States discuss and reconcile comments.|
|6/5||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.|
|6/26||States release CY 1991 QC Annual Report.||7/31||Department of Labor publishes notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of QC data.|
Action Required. State Administrators are requested to:
provide copies of these guidelines to the appropriate staff and
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 QC data by June 5, 1992;
(2) a copy of the State annual QC data release by June 26, 1992; and
(3) copies of any press releases and/or newspaper articles relating to the Annual Report released by the SESA for CY 1991 by July 7, 1992.
Inquiries. Questions should be directed to the appropriate Regional Office.
Annual Report Format and Footnotes
State QC Sample Selection by Batch for CY 1991 (by hard copy only)
Annual Report Narrative Format and Preparation
Format for QC Annual Report Supplemental Data