The government lacked a list, or "inventory," of the various programs and initiatives it has to aid veterans and transitioning service members in finding jobs, benefits and small business opportunities, so a watchdog agency has come up with one.
"We found 11 agencies offering 45 programs," according to a January report of the Government Accountability Office, an independent arm of Congress.
In its research, the GAO said, "We found no existing inventory that could easily give Congress or potential participants a complete picture of available benefits. The lack of such an inventory limits efforts to make government more effective and efficient."
The GAO's report, which was conducted from February 2018 to January 2019, was sent to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. The report essentially was informative and made no recommendations for follow-up.
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The report found that the 11 federal agencies administering the programs usually operate independently of each other, but there is some overlap.
"A few programs are administered primarily by a single agency with assistance from another federal agency," the report states.
"For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs administers the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program, but the Department of Labor plays an integral role in delivering services and the two agencies coordinate training and outreach efforts," according to the report.
In addition, four of the 45 programs are jointly administered by multiple agencies, including the DoD and Coast Guard Transition Assistance Programs and the All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Selected Reserve program, the report states.
Here is the GAO' list of 45 programs. Eligibility information is available on the programs' websites or at the parent agency:
Department of Agriculture
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
20. Coast Guard Tuition Assistance/Voluntary Education Programs
Department of Labor
Department of State
Department of Veterans Affairs
24. All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance (or Montgomery GI Bill)
26. Dependents Educational Assistance Program (or Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance)
Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
Small Business Administration
Jointly Administered Programs
42. All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance (or Montgomery GI Bill)
43. Coast Guard Transition Assistance Program (Coast Guard TAP)
44. DoD Transition Assistance Program (DoD TAP)
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.
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