Report: Federal Agencies’ Could Enhance Collaboration Required by WIOA

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was enacted in 2014 and requires DOL, Education, and HHS to collaborate on an ongoing basis to implement the law. WIOA requirements involving interagency collaboration include issuing regulations, developing a common performance system, and overseeing state planning. In prior work, GAO identified leading practices that can enhance and sustain federal collaborative efforts. Given the ongoing collaboration required by WIOA, GAO was asked to review the collaborative approaches the agencies have used to implement the law. This report examines the extent to which federal agencies’ efforts to implement certain WIOA requirements have aligned with leading collaboration practices.

GAO reviewed relevant federal laws, regulations, and guidance. GAO also interviewed officials from DOL, Education, and HHS who led the overall collaboration effort, gathered information from interagency workgroups, and reviewed relevant documentation. In addition, GAO interviewed Office of Management and Budget staff regarding their role in this collaboration. GAO assessed the agencies’ efforts against leading collaboration practices and federal internal control standards.

GAO is making 6 recommendations to DOL, Education, and HHS to better address their resource needs and document their agreements. HHS agreed with GAO’s recommendations. DOL and Education neither agreed nor disagreed but planned to take actions to address the recommendations.