Request for Information; Comment Request; Department of Labor Research and Evaluation Plan for 2016, 967-970 [2016-170]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 5 / Friday, January 8, 2016 / Notices have no further liability for such funds. Accompanying their application for withdrawal of trust funds, tribes are required to submit a Management Plan for managing the funds being withdrawn, to protect the funds once they are out of trust status. This information collection allows the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians to collect the tribes’ applications for withdrawal of funds held in trust by the Department of the Interior. If this information were not collected, the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians would not be able to comply with the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103–412), and tribes would not be able to withdraw funds held for them in trust by the Department of the Interior. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES II. Data (1) Title: Application to Withdraw Tribal Funds from Trust Status, 25 CFR 1200. OMB Control Number: 1035–0003. Current Expiration Date: January 31, 2016 Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection. Affected Entities: Tribal Governments. Estimated annual number of respondents: One respondent per year. Frequency of response: Once per tribe per trust fund withdrawal application. (2) Annual reporting and record keeping burden: Total annualized reporting per respondent: 1. Total annualized reporting: 750 hours. (3) Description of the need and use of the information: The statutorilyrequired information is needed to approve tribal applications to withdraw funds from accounts held in trust for tribes by the United States Government, for self-management. (4) As required under 5 CFR 1320.8(d), a Federal Register notice soliciting comments on the information collection was published on October 19, 2015 (80 FR 63253). No comments were received. This notice provides the public with an additional 30 days in which to comment on the proposed information collection activity. III. Request for Comments The Department of the Interior invites comments on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the collection VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:40 Jan 07, 2016 Jkt 238001 and the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other collection techniques or other forms of information techniques. ‘‘Burden’’ means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. It is our policy to make all comments available to the public for review. Before including Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as your address, phone number, email address, or other personal information in your comments(s), you should be aware that your entire comment (including PII) may be made available to the public at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold PII from public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. If you wish to view any comments received, you may do so by scheduling an appointment with the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians by using the contact information in the ADDRESSES section above. A valid picture identification is required for entry into the Department of the Interior. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number. Dated: December 30, 2015. David Beeksma, Director, Office of External Affairs, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians. [FR Doc. 2016–109 Filed 1–7–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334–63–P PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 967 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Secretary Request for Information; Comment Request; Department of Labor Research and Evaluation Plan for 2016 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Chief Evaluation Office. ACTION: Request for information. AGENCY: The Department of Labor (DOL), as part of its continuing effort to improve the quality and use of research and evaluation, is requesting comments from the public on its 2016 Research and Evaluation Plan. DATES: Written comments must be received by the office listed in the addressee section below on or before February 8, 2016. ADDRESSES: A copy of this research and evaluation plan may be obtained free of charge by contacting Jonathan Simonetta, Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S–2312, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, Email: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov. You may submit comments by one of the following methods: Email: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov; Mail or Courier: Jonathan Simonetta, Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S–2312, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Instructions: Please submit one copy of your comments, preferably by email. We continue to experience delays in receiving mail in the Washington, DC area, therefore commenters are strongly encouraged to transmit their comments electronically via email or to submit them early by mail. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Simonetta, Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S–2312, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, 20210, by telephone at 202–693–5959 (this is not a toll-free number), or by email at ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: U.S. Department of Labor, Chief Evaluation Office, Fiscal Year 2016 Evaluation Plan Priorities and Themes. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) directly funds and sponsors evaluations and also collaborates with other DOL agencies and programs to design and conduct evaluations that those agencies sponsor. The Department’s annual evaluation plan is based mainly on agencies’ priorities, the Department’s Strategic Plan priorities, statutory requirements for evaluations, and continuing SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\08JAN1.SGM 08JAN1 968 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 5 / Friday, January 8, 2016 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES discussions with agency leadership and program staff. In addition to funds appropriated for Departmental Program Evaluations (DPE), Division G, Title I, Section 107 of Public Law 113–235 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (the Act) authorizes the Secretary of Labor to reserve not more than 0.5 percent from specific budget accounts for transfer to and use by the Office of the Chief Evaluation Officer for departmental program evaluation. The accounts referred to in subsection (a) of the Act are: Training and Employment Services, Job Corps, Community Service Employment for Older Americans, State Unemployment Insurance and Employment Service Operations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, Wage and Hour Division, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Office of Labor-Management Standards, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration, funding made available to the Bureau of International Affairs and Women’s Bureau within the Departmental Management, Salaries and Expenses account, and Veterans Employment and Training. Set-aside funds are transferred to CEO and are available for evaluations of programs administered by the agencies responsible for those budget accounts. Evaluation funding (core and setaside) must be obligated within two years. The following sections present principles followed in developing the evaluation plan and a summary of the priorities and themes for potential evaluation projects expected to be initiated in FY 2016. Of particular note is that the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 requires several specific evaluations, which will be carried out collaboratively by CEO and the Employment and Training Administration (ETA); some WIOAspecific studies are included in this plan and others will be included in subsequent years’ plans. Guiding Principles Three principles guide the Department’s overall evaluation plan and all studies initiated by the CEO: 1. Prioritize studies that focus on measuring the effectiveness of key program outputs and outcomes consistent with Departmental priorities, the Departmental Strategic Plan, Agency Learning Agendas, and Agency Operating Plans. 2. Encourage the most rigorous evaluation designs possible to address VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:40 Jan 07, 2016 Jkt 238001 the evaluation question of interest, particularly experimental designs, but also non-experimental designs, in a manner that is realistic given the programmatic missions/goals, programmatic maturity, data availability, and analytic capability. 3. Expand the capacity, knowledge, and utilization of high quality evaluation designs and methods department-wide; and improve the quality of data that can be used for evaluations. Agency Learning Agendas identify priorities for evaluations that can help agencies measure their effectiveness, their progress towards goals and outcomes, continuous improvement, and, in some cases, meet Congressional requirements for reports and evaluations. Evaluations focus on program performance and outcomes, measuring the impacts of core programs and services, evaluating new programs and initiatives, and testing the relative effectiveness of alternative program practices, using the most rigorous methodologies possible. Evaluation Priorities and Themes for FY 2016 These themes reflect a diverse mix of potential activities designed to build evidence about what works and the factors that influence or are related to Departmental programs. Broadly, four types of projects are considered in pursuing the priorities: • Statistical Analyses of Trends in Programs, Labor Supply and Demand, Economic Conditions, and the Labor Market as they Relate to DOL Programs; • Exploratory, Formative and Implementation Evaluations, and Designs and Evaluability Assessments for Pilots and Demonstrations; • Formal Evaluations of Programs and Demonstrations; and • Research and Evaluation Capacity Building Activities. A. Statistical Analysis of Trends and Surveys In FY 2016, CEO is exploring the following themes, possibly through statistical analyses using agency administrative data, surveys or statistical databases: • Labor Market and Occupational Trends in Selected Industry Sectors; • Gender Patterns and Pay in Occupations and Industries; • Caregiving and Women’s Retirement Security; • Unemployment and Unemployment Insurance; • Labor Enforcement Program Data (OSHA, WHD, OFCCP); • Immigration, Immigrants, and Work Visas; PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Employment of Veterans; and • Analysis of Adult Skills and Competencies. B. Exploratory, Formative and Implementation Evaluations, Evaluability Assessments, Feasibility Studies, and Structured Evidence/ Literature Reviews In FY 2016, CEO is exploring the following priorities and types of studies, possibly through exploratory evaluations using formative and implementation analysis methods, and evidence reviews. • Evidence and Literature Reviews Æ CLEAR Reviews. Structured literature and evidence reviews will be conducted using the review standards and guidelines established for the Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR); Æ Active Labor Market Policies and Livelihood Services in Developing Countries; Æ Policies and Strategies to Address Child Labor and Forced Labor; and Æ Education, Training and Certification Pathways. • Job Driven Skills and Training Æ Models for Improving Basic Skills and Career Preparation (e.g., GED and new testing mode, career education); Æ Occupational Credentialing and Training Program Practices; Æ Characteristics of, Services to, and Employment Outcomes for Unemployed and Dislocated Workers; Æ Employment Effects of Soft Skills Training and Job Search Strategies for Adults and Youth; and Æ Models of Engagement with, and Effect of Programs on, Businesses and Employers (e.g., Job Corps and other youth programs, adult workforce programs, job training programs, veterans programs). • WIOA Implementation Æ Implementation of WIOA; and Æ Strategies and Services Delivery in One Stop Centers/American Job Centers. • Veterans Æ Strategies and Models of Employment Services for Serving Veterans and Alternative Models; and Æ Models for Improving the Transition of Individuals from Active Military Duty to Civilian Employment. • Other Special Populations Æ DOL Programs and Services in Native American, Tribal, and Pacific Islander Urban and Rural Communities; Æ Employer Practices Regarding Accommodation and Talentdevelopment of Employees with Disabilities; and Æ Role of Intermediaries, including Non-Farm Labor Contractors, in the Hiring of Farmworkers. E:\FR\FM\08JAN1.SGM 08JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 5 / Friday, January 8, 2016 / Notices • Labor Standards, Worker Safety and Health, Compliance, and Compliance Assistance Æ Worker Rights in Developing Countries; Æ Child Labor Information and Technical Assistance Efforts in Developing Countries; and Æ Labor Standards in Supply Chains in Selected Industries. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES C. Formal Evaluations of Programs and Demonstrations In FY 2016, CEO is exploring the following themes, possibly through formal evaluations to test promising strategies, replicate proven models, and estimate the effectiveness of program components and service delivery approaches: • Youth Æ National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Job ChalleNGe Demonstration; Æ Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) for Disconnected Youth; Æ Job Corps Innovations Pilots; and Æ Youth Build. • Job-Driven Skills and Training Æ American Apprenticeship Initiative Grants; Æ Employment and Training Services for Adults, Dislocated Workers, Out of School Youth, and Foster Youth; Æ Innovative Career Pathways Models; and Æ Subsidized Employment and Tax Credit Strategies to Increase Employment. • Employment and Reemployment Æ Innovative Strategies for Improving Employment Outcomes for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Individuals and Æ Effective Reemployment Strategies for Unemployed Workers and Recipients of Unemployment Insurance. • Behavioral Economics and Insights Æ Evaluations Using Behavioral Insights to Improve Program Outcomes in DOL Employment and Training and Worker Protection Programs. • Labor Standards, Worker Health and Safety, Compliance and Compliance Assistance Æ Deterrence Strategies for Improving Compliance with Labor Standards Laws and Regulations; Æ Evaluation of Voluntary Compliance with Labor Standards Laws and Regulations; Æ Effectiveness of Various Methods and Strategies for Inspection, Compliance, and Enforcement; and Æ Improving Injury and Illness Reporting. • Worker Security, Benefits, and Tax Strategies Æ Effectiveness of Financial Literacy Strategies; VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:40 Jan 07, 2016 Jkt 238001 Æ Effect of Worker Benefits on Family, Worker, and Child Well-being; and Æ Effectiveness of Tax Credits and Wage Subsidy Strategies on Employment Outcomes. • Outreach, Information, Training, and Technical Assistance Æ Effective Translation and Adoption of Federal Policies by States and Localities; Æ Effectiveness of Inspector Training Programs; and Æ Effectiveness of Technical Assistance and Outreach. D. Research and Evaluation Capacity Building Activities It is important to complement evaluation studies with other activities designed to continuously reinforce the role of evaluation at DOL: The importance of evaluation for achieving performance goals and objectives; the integration of evaluation into ongoing management; and the expectation of high quality products and reports. Dissemination of evaluation reports and access to accumulating evidence is also essential, as is the commitment to developing a pipeline of labor-focused young evaluators/scholars. This category includes various activities to continue to build DOL’s evaluation capacity, such as: • DOL Scholars Research Program (with priority given to young scholars); • Collaborative Cross-Agency Statistical Analysis; and • Wage Record Data Exchanges for Evaluations. Acronyms BLS, Bureau of Labor Statistics CEO, Chief Evaluation Office EBSA, Employee Benefits Security Administration ETA, Employment and Training Administration ILAB, Bureau of International Labor Affairs MSHA, Mine Safety and Health Administration OASP, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy ODEP, Office of Disability Employment Policy OFCCP, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs OLMS, Office of Labor-Management Standards OSEC, Office of the Secretary OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration OWCP, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs SOL, Office of the Solicitor UI, Unemployment Insurance VETS, Veterans’ Employment & Training Service WHD, Wage and Hour Division WB, Women’s Bureau PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 969 Instructions, Who Should Respond: We invite practitioners, policy makers, program directors, business and industry associations, nonprofit organizations, and researchers to provide feedback on the priorities, the themes and the types of studies and approaches included in the 2016 plan, and suggestions for related evaluation areas topics, for example: • Are there other themes or topics that should be considered for inclusion in the evaluation plan? • What types of evaluations or topics would be of most relevance to program practitioners? • Are there any particular data or resource constraints that should be considered? Guidance for Submitting Documents On page one of your submission, please indicate your name, the name of your organization (if applicable), and your contact information (including phone number, postal address, and email address). While not required, it would assist us in reviewing your information if you also included the type of organization you represent (public, private, not-for-profit, or philanthropic), the field(s) in which you work and the level at which you operate (national, state, regional, local or tribal). Rights to Materials: By submitting material in response to this RFI, the respondent is agreeing to grant the Department a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to use the material and to make it publicly available. Further, the respondent agrees that it owns, has a valid license, or is otherwise authorized to provide the material to the Department. The Department will not provide any compensation for material submitted in response to this RFI. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of the Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit E:\FR\FM\08JAN1.SGM 08JAN1 970 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 5 / Friday, January 8, 2016 / Notices your search to documents published by the Department. Signed: at Washington, DC this 17th day of December, 2015. Sharon I. Block, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor. [FR Doc. 2016–170 Filed 1–7–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–HX–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Assistant Secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training (OASVET); Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; VETS’ Competitive Grant Programs Reporting ACTION: Notice. The Department of Labor (DOL) is soliciting comments concerning a proposed approval for the authority to conduct the information collection request (ICR) titled, ‘‘VETS’ Competitive Grant Programs Reporting Data Collection.’’ This comment request is part of continuing Departmental efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. DATES: Consideration will be given to all written comments received by March 8, 2016. ADDRESSES: A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation, including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden, may be obtained for free by contacting Bradley Sickles by telephone at (202) 693–4741 (this is not a toll-free number) or by email at bradley.sickles.a@dol.gov. Submit written comments about, or requests for a copy of, this ICR by mail or courier to the U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, Room S1325, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; by email: bradley.sickles.a@ dol.gov; or by fax (202–693–4755). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bradley Sickles, by telephone at (202) 693–4741 (this is not a toll-free number) or by email at bradley.sickles.a@dol.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The DOL, as part of continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information before submitting them to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:40 Jan 07, 2016 Jkt 238001 approval. This program helps to ensure requested data will be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements can be properly assessed. The forms and formats contained in this information collection request apply to the following competitive grants (CG): Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP) and the Stand Down Grants Program (38 U.S.C. 2021); Homeless Female Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Families (HFVHVF) reintegration grant program (38 U.S.C. 2021A); Incarcerated Veterans’ Transition Program (IVTP) (38 U.S.C. 2023); and the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program (VWIP), (29 U.S.C. 2913). This information collection is authorized by the provisions at 38 U.S.C. 2021(b); 38 U.S.C. 2021A(c); 29 U.S.C. 2913(b)(2); and section 200.328, title II, Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR 200.328). This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless the OMB approves it under the PRA and it displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. Interested parties are encouraged to provide comments to the contact shown in the addresses section. Comments must be written to receive consideration, and they will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval of the final ICR. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention ‘‘VETS’ CG Programs Reporting Data Collection.’’ Submitted comments will also be a matter of public record for this ICR and posted on the Internet without redaction. The DOL encourages commenters not to include personally identifiable information, confidential business data, or other sensitive statements/information in any comments. The DOL is particularly interested in comments that: • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g. permitting electronic submission of responses. Agency: DOL—VETS. Type of Review: New. Title of Collection: VETS’ Competitive Grant Programs Reporting. Forms: 1. VETS–700, Competitive Grants (CG) Planned Goals Chart; 2. VETS–701, CG Technical Performance Report (TPR); 3. VETS–702, CG Technical Performance Narrative (TPN); 4. VETS–703, Stand Down After Action Report (SDAAR) OMB Control Number: 1293–0NEW. Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Private Sector— businesses or other for-profits and notfor-profit institutions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 325. Frequency: Quarterly. Total Estimated Annual Responses: 1,300. Estimated Average Time per Response: 12 Hours. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 15,600 hours. Total Estimated Annual Other Cost Burden: $0. Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). Dated: Signed in Washington, DC, this 4th day of January, 2016. Teresa W. Gerton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training. [FR Doc. 2016–164 Filed 1–7–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–79–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Secretary Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Agreement Approval Process for Use of Functional Affirmative Action Programs ACTION: E:\FR\FM\08JAN1.SGM Notice. 08JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 5 (Friday, January 8, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 967-970]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-170]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Office of the Secretary


Request for Information; Comment Request; Department of Labor 
Research and Evaluation Plan for 2016

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Chief Evaluation 
Office.

ACTION: Request for information.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Labor (DOL), as part of its continuing 
effort to improve the quality and use of research and evaluation, is 
requesting comments from the public on its 2016 Research and Evaluation 
Plan.

DATES: Written comments must be received by the office listed in the 
addressee section below on or before February 8, 2016.

ADDRESSES: A copy of this research and evaluation plan may be obtained 
free of charge by contacting Jonathan Simonetta, Chief Evaluation 
Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-2312, 200 Constitution Avenue 
NW., Washington, DC 20210, Email: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov.
    You may submit comments by one of the following methods: Email: 
ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov; Mail or Courier: Jonathan Simonetta, 
Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-2312, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Instructions: Please 
submit one copy of your comments, preferably by email. We continue to 
experience delays in receiving mail in the Washington, DC area, 
therefore commenters are strongly encouraged to transmit their comments 
electronically via email or to submit them early by mail.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Simonetta, Chief Evaluation 
Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-2312, 200 Constitution Avenue 
NW., Washington, DC, 20210, by telephone at 202-693-5959 (this is not a 
toll-free number), or by email at ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: U.S. Department of Labor, Chief Evaluation 
Office, Fiscal Year 2016 Evaluation Plan Priorities and Themes.
    The U.S. Department of Labor's Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) 
directly funds and sponsors evaluations and also collaborates with 
other DOL agencies and programs to design and conduct evaluations that 
those agencies sponsor. The Department's annual evaluation plan is 
based mainly on agencies' priorities, the Department's Strategic Plan 
priorities, statutory requirements for evaluations, and continuing

[[Page 968]]

discussions with agency leadership and program staff.
    In addition to funds appropriated for Departmental Program 
Evaluations (DPE), Division G, Title I, Section 107 of Public Law 113-
235 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 
(the Act) authorizes the Secretary of Labor to reserve not more than 
0.5 percent from specific budget accounts for transfer to and use by 
the Office of the Chief Evaluation Officer for departmental program 
evaluation. The accounts referred to in subsection (a) of the Act are: 
Training and Employment Services, Job Corps, Community Service 
Employment for Older Americans, State Unemployment Insurance and 
Employment Service Operations, Employee Benefits Security 
Administration, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Wage and Hour 
Division, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Office of 
Labor-Management Standards, Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration, funding made 
available to the Bureau of International Affairs and Women's Bureau 
within the Departmental Management, Salaries and Expenses account, and 
Veterans Employment and Training. Set-aside funds are transferred to 
CEO and are available for evaluations of programs administered by the 
agencies responsible for those budget accounts.
    Evaluation funding (core and set-aside) must be obligated within 
two years. The following sections present principles followed in 
developing the evaluation plan and a summary of the priorities and 
themes for potential evaluation projects expected to be initiated in FY 
2016. Of particular note is that the Workforce Innovation and 
Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 requires several specific evaluations, 
which will be carried out collaboratively by CEO and the Employment and 
Training Administration (ETA); some WIOA-specific studies are included 
in this plan and others will be included in subsequent years' plans.

Guiding Principles

    Three principles guide the Department's overall evaluation plan and 
all studies initiated by the CEO:
    1. Prioritize studies that focus on measuring the effectiveness of 
key program outputs and outcomes consistent with Departmental 
priorities, the Departmental Strategic Plan, Agency Learning Agendas, 
and Agency Operating Plans.
    2. Encourage the most rigorous evaluation designs possible to 
address the evaluation question of interest, particularly experimental 
designs, but also non-experimental designs, in a manner that is 
realistic given the programmatic missions/goals, programmatic maturity, 
data availability, and analytic capability.
    3. Expand the capacity, knowledge, and utilization of high quality 
evaluation designs and methods department-wide; and improve the quality 
of data that can be used for evaluations.
    Agency Learning Agendas identify priorities for evaluations that 
can help agencies measure their effectiveness, their progress towards 
goals and outcomes, continuous improvement, and, in some cases, meet 
Congressional requirements for reports and evaluations. Evaluations 
focus on program performance and outcomes, measuring the impacts of 
core programs and services, evaluating new programs and initiatives, 
and testing the relative effectiveness of alternative program 
practices, using the most rigorous methodologies possible.

Evaluation Priorities and Themes for FY 2016

    These themes reflect a diverse mix of potential activities designed 
to build evidence about what works and the factors that influence or 
are related to Departmental programs. Broadly, four types of projects 
are considered in pursuing the priorities:
     Statistical Analyses of Trends in Programs, Labor Supply 
and Demand, Economic Conditions, and the Labor Market as they Relate to 
DOL Programs;
     Exploratory, Formative and Implementation Evaluations, and 
Designs and Evaluability Assessments for Pilots and Demonstrations;
     Formal Evaluations of Programs and Demonstrations; and
     Research and Evaluation Capacity Building Activities.

A. Statistical Analysis of Trends and Surveys

    In FY 2016, CEO is exploring the following themes, possibly through 
statistical analyses using agency administrative data, surveys or 
statistical databases:
     Labor Market and Occupational Trends in Selected Industry 
Sectors;
     Gender Patterns and Pay in Occupations and Industries;
     Caregiving and Women's Retirement Security;
     Unemployment and Unemployment Insurance;
     Labor Enforcement Program Data (OSHA, WHD, OFCCP);
     Immigration, Immigrants, and Work Visas;
     Employment of Veterans; and
     Analysis of Adult Skills and Competencies.

B. Exploratory, Formative and Implementation Evaluations, Evaluability 
Assessments, Feasibility Studies, and Structured Evidence/Literature 
Reviews

    In FY 2016, CEO is exploring the following priorities and types of 
studies, possibly through exploratory evaluations using formative and 
implementation analysis methods, and evidence reviews.
     Evidence and Literature Reviews
    [cir] CLEAR Reviews. Structured literature and evidence reviews 
will be conducted using the review standards and guidelines established 
for the Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR);
    [cir] Active Labor Market Policies and Livelihood Services in 
Developing Countries;
    [cir] Policies and Strategies to Address Child Labor and Forced 
Labor; and
    [cir] Education, Training and Certification Pathways.
     Job Driven Skills and Training
    [cir] Models for Improving Basic Skills and Career Preparation 
(e.g., GED and new testing mode, career education);
    [cir] Occupational Credentialing and Training Program Practices;
    [cir] Characteristics of, Services to, and Employment Outcomes for 
Unemployed and Dislocated Workers;
    [cir] Employment Effects of Soft Skills Training and Job Search 
Strategies for Adults and Youth; and
    [cir] Models of Engagement with, and Effect of Programs on, 
Businesses and Employers (e.g., Job Corps and other youth programs, 
adult workforce programs, job training programs, veterans programs).
     WIOA Implementation
    [cir] Implementation of WIOA; and
    [cir] Strategies and Services Delivery in One Stop Centers/American 
Job Centers.
     Veterans
    [cir] Strategies and Models of Employment Services for Serving 
Veterans and Alternative Models; and
    [cir] Models for Improving the Transition of Individuals from 
Active Military Duty to Civilian Employment.
     Other Special Populations
    [cir] DOL Programs and Services in Native American, Tribal, and 
Pacific Islander Urban and Rural Communities;
    [cir] Employer Practices Regarding Accommodation and Talent-
development of Employees with Disabilities; and
    [cir] Role of Intermediaries, including Non-Farm Labor Contractors, 
in the Hiring of Farmworkers.

[[Page 969]]

     Labor Standards, Worker Safety and Health, Compliance, and 
Compliance Assistance
    [cir] Worker Rights in Developing Countries;
    [cir] Child Labor Information and Technical Assistance Efforts in 
Developing Countries; and
    [cir] Labor Standards in Supply Chains in Selected Industries.

C. Formal Evaluations of Programs and Demonstrations

    In FY 2016, CEO is exploring the following themes, possibly through 
formal evaluations to test promising strategies, replicate proven 
models, and estimate the effectiveness of program components and 
service delivery approaches:
     Youth
    [cir] National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Job ChalleNGe Demonstration;
    [cir] Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) for Disconnected Youth;
    [cir] Job Corps Innovations Pilots; and
    [cir] Youth Build.
     Job-Driven Skills and Training
    [cir] American Apprenticeship Initiative Grants;
    [cir] Employment and Training Services for Adults, Dislocated 
Workers, Out of School Youth, and Foster Youth;
    [cir] Innovative Career Pathways Models; and
    [cir] Subsidized Employment and Tax Credit Strategies to Increase 
Employment.
     Employment and Reemployment
    [cir] Innovative Strategies for Improving Employment Outcomes for 
Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Individuals and
    [cir] Effective Reemployment Strategies for Unemployed Workers and 
Recipients of Unemployment Insurance.
     Behavioral Economics and Insights
    [cir] Evaluations Using Behavioral Insights to Improve Program 
Outcomes in DOL Employment and Training and Worker Protection Programs.
     Labor Standards, Worker Health and Safety, Compliance and 
Compliance Assistance
    [cir] Deterrence Strategies for Improving Compliance with Labor 
Standards Laws and Regulations;
    [cir] Evaluation of Voluntary Compliance with Labor Standards Laws 
and Regulations;
    [cir] Effectiveness of Various Methods and Strategies for 
Inspection, Compliance, and Enforcement; and
    [cir] Improving Injury and Illness Reporting.
     Worker Security, Benefits, and Tax Strategies
    [cir] Effectiveness of Financial Literacy Strategies;
    [cir] Effect of Worker Benefits on Family, Worker, and Child Well-
being; and
    [cir] Effectiveness of Tax Credits and Wage Subsidy Strategies on 
Employment Outcomes.
     Outreach, Information, Training, and Technical Assistance
    [cir] Effective Translation and Adoption of Federal Policies by 
States and Localities;
    [cir] Effectiveness of Inspector Training Programs; and
    [cir] Effectiveness of Technical Assistance and Outreach.

D. Research and Evaluation Capacity Building Activities

    It is important to complement evaluation studies with other 
activities designed to continuously reinforce the role of evaluation at 
DOL: The importance of evaluation for achieving performance goals and 
objectives; the integration of evaluation into ongoing management; and 
the expectation of high quality products and reports. Dissemination of 
evaluation reports and access to accumulating evidence is also 
essential, as is the commitment to developing a pipeline of labor-
focused young evaluators/scholars. This category includes various 
activities to continue to build DOL's evaluation capacity, such as:
     DOL Scholars Research Program (with priority given to 
young scholars);
     Collaborative Cross-Agency Statistical Analysis; and
     Wage Record Data Exchanges for Evaluations.

Acronyms

BLS, Bureau of Labor Statistics
CEO, Chief Evaluation Office
EBSA, Employee Benefits Security Administration
ETA, Employment and Training Administration
ILAB, Bureau of International Labor Affairs
MSHA, Mine Safety and Health Administration
OASP, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy
ODEP, Office of Disability Employment Policy
OFCCP, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
OLMS, Office of Labor-Management Standards
OSEC, Office of the Secretary
OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OWCP, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
SOL, Office of the Solicitor
UI, Unemployment Insurance
VETS, Veterans' Employment & Training Service
WHD, Wage and Hour Division
WB, Women's Bureau

    Instructions, Who Should Respond: We invite practitioners, policy 
makers, program directors, business and industry associations, 
nonprofit organizations, and researchers to provide feedback on the 
priorities, the themes and the types of studies and approaches included 
in the 2016 plan, and suggestions for related evaluation areas topics, 
for example:
     Are there other themes or topics that should be considered 
for inclusion in the evaluation plan?
     What types of evaluations or topics would be of most 
relevance to program practitioners?
     Are there any particular data or resource constraints that 
should be considered?

Guidance for Submitting Documents

    On page one of your submission, please indicate your name, the name 
of your organization (if applicable), and your contact information 
(including phone number, postal address, and email address). While not 
required, it would assist us in reviewing your information if you also 
included the type of organization you represent (public, private, not-
for-profit, or philanthropic), the field(s) in which you work and the 
level at which you operate (national, state, regional, local or 
tribal).
    Rights to Materials: By submitting material in response to this 
RFI, the respondent is agreeing to grant the Department a worldwide, 
royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to use the 
material and to make it publicly available. Further, the respondent 
agrees that it owns, has a valid license, or is otherwise authorized to 
provide the material to the Department. The Department will not provide 
any compensation for material submitted in response to this RFI.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of the Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit

[[Page 970]]

your search to documents published by the Department.

    Signed: at Washington, DC this 17th day of December, 2015.
Sharon I. Block,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of 
Labor.
[FR Doc. 2016-170 Filed 1-7-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4510-HX-P