To further enhance its corrective action planning process as a means of improving the unemployment program, the department should establish several key performance targets or benchmarks that are tied to each specific corrective action, to effectively gauge the impact of the actions on its goal of achieving the acceptable levels related to the timeliness measures.
In the October 2014 annual status report, EDD communicated that a Business Process Innovation Team developed measurable milestones for each required Corrective Action Plan (CAP) included in the California's 2015 State Quality Service Plan (SQSP). This plan included the Unemployment Insurance (UI) portion of the SQSP narrative and CAPs for First Payment Promptness and Non-monetary Determination Timeliness. A copy of the 2015 SQSP will be provided upon request. Subsequent to our last annual report, we received notification that the United States Department of Labor approved the 2015 SQSP on September 30, 2014 (see Attachment).
To demonstrate our commitment to develop measurable milestones, an Integrity Team, with representation from the UI Branch, Tax Branch, and Policy, Accountability and Compliance Branch, developed additional measurable milestones for each required CAP in California's 2016 SQSP. The multi-branch team allows for insight from staff most knowledgeable in the areas of operation related to different federal performance measures.
The team meets throughout the year to brainstorm additional actions to develop into measurable milestones for each specific CAP. Maintaining performance measures for each specific milestone allows for the tracking and analysis of improvements in performance before, during, and after the implemented action. Through this process, EDD is able to effectively gauge the impact of each milestone related to the timeliness performance measures.
EDD provided us with documentation that includes performance indicators and targets it has identified to measure the outcomes of its actions as they relate to federal timeliness measures. These documents also include information on how well EDD is performing related to these targets for the solutions it indicated that it has implemented.
This recommendation is fully implemented with the submission of California's State Quality Service Plan (SQSP) for Federal Fiscal Year 2015, which includes action plans to improve federal performance measures.
A group of EDD subject matter experts, known as the Business Process Innovation Team (formerly the Business Process Assessment Team), has been working with a third-party consultant to conduct reviews of Unemployment Insurance (UI) functions and business processes to identify areas for improvement and streamlining. To date, the team has reviewed the claim filing and determinations processes to identify bottlenecks that cause delays in getting the first UI payment to eligible claimants. After a review and analysis of a sample of claims, the team made specific data-driven recommendations to improve federal performance measures for first payment promptness and determination timeliness. These recommendations were incorporated in the SQSP document recently submitted to the United States Department of Labor. The Business Process Innovation Team will track and measure the outcomes of those solutions and the impact on the performance measures.
Additionally, as part of EDD's ongoing continuous improvement efforts, EDD will utilize the new reporting data available in the new UI benefit payment system to establish performance targets and to assist in effectively gauging the impact of the Corrective Action Plans in the SQSP on our performance goals.
The State Quality Service Plans the Employment Development Department (EDD) provided us did not include specific performance benchmarks or targets. We followed up with EDD, and it indicated that it does not plan to include this level of detail in its State Quality Service Plans. EDD provided us with a document that describes its Business Process Innovation methodology for improving its timeliness measures, which includes descriptions of performance indicators that it will use to measure the outcomes of its actions. Although we believe that this is a promising step, EDD has indicated in its document that it is still in the process of obtaining and analyzing data. Moreover, this document still does not include specific quantitative benchmarks or targets tied to the performance indicators it identified. Thus, it appears that this effort is still in progress and the recommendation is not fully implemented.
This recommendation has been partially implemented due to chronic federal underfunding in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, which has led to reduced staff, combined with the need to implement the UI Modernization Continued Claims Redesign project as a high priority. The EDD made every effort to develop key performance targets that tied to specific corrective actions when drafting the State Quality Service Plan for 2014. The EDD established key performance targets for those areas that lend themselves to measurement and included methodology to measure the success of those particular strategies. However, in September 2013 the EDD launched a new internal payment system that significantly changes the way EDD manages and processes the work and the new system provides completely different reporting mechanisms. New business rules were established to enable EDD to measure the age of the work, the type of the work and whether or not the work items could affect payment timeliness. As with any new system, it will take time for staff to adjust to the new way of processing work and a new baseline needs to be set before realistic performance targets can be set. To further aid it in this endeavor, the EDD plans to conduct business process assessment activities with the aid of a third party to help it rethink and redesign UI business processes to achieve significant improvements in performance that will ultimately help EDD improve its federal performance measures.
Dependent on the extent of its federal underfunding, EDD anticipates completion by the end of 2014.
This recommendation has not been fully implemented; the EDD anticipates that this status will be confirmed by the BSA follow-up review report expected to be issued in November 2012. In its 2013 SQSP, the EDD began establishing key performance targets that tied to specific corrective actions. The EDD will continue with this practice when developing its 2014 SQSP by establishing additional key performance targets for the improvement strategies that lend themselves to measurement and include the methodology that will be used to measure the success of those particular strategies. However, while the EDD thinks that not all of the improvement strategies identified in the 2014 SQSP will be discretely measurable due to the nature of the strategies, the EDD will make every effort to tie key performance targets to strategies when possible. For example, marketing strategies to educate claimants about more efficient certification processes are activities that are sometimes difficult to measure outcomes but they are a necessary activity that should ultimately result in performance improvement. The EDD's 2014 SQSP will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor by October 2013.
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.