System name: JOBS Evaluation Data System.
Security classification: None.
System location: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), 3 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016 - Deloitte and Touche, 2 Oliver Plaza, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Response Analysis Corporation, 377 Wall Street, Princeton, NJ 08542-0158. Participating Sites (See list below)
Categories of individuals covered by the system: The system will include records on a sample of approximately 48,000 individuals in 7 to 9 sites who were AFDC recipients or applicants at the time of selection of the research sample and who were eligible to receive JOBS services. Certain categories of records will be collected for all sample members, while others will be collected only for sub-samples in selected sites.
Categories of records in the system: In each of the evaluation sites, clients will be randomly assigned to either treatment or control groups through a computerized assignment system by the contractor. Similar data will be collected for members of both treatment and control groups in the research sample. Categories of records collected from administrative records, surveys, and testing include client identifiers (including name, social security number, etc.); demographic characteristics; family status; labor market status; educational status; public assistance status; program status; total income and poverty status; attitudes toward work, welfare, parenting, and jobs; motivational, self-descriptive, and work-related factors; program participation; educational and training utilization; school performance and developmental status of children; and factors related to child care use.
Authority for maintenance of the system: Authority is provided by the Family Support Act, Pub. L. 100-485, section 203(c), 42 U.S.C. 681 note, which calls for an evaluation to determine the effectiveness of different approaches to assisting welfare applicants and recipients.
Purpose(s): The purpose of the JOBS Evaluation Data System is to build and expand on prior and in-progress research in order to determine which program approaches work best for different subgroups of welfare applicants and recipients. The evaluation will contain three main study areas: an impact analysis, an implementation and process study, and a benefit-cost analysis. Other analyses, such as studies of performance standards, will also be conducted. Numerous reports on the findings (in aggregate form only) will be issued over the course of the multi-year evaluation.
The impact study will examine the effects of various JOBS program approaches on individuals' employment status and earnings levels, receipt and amount of AFDC payments, income levels, and educational attainment, in up to ten sites (and on literacy, basic mathematics achievement, and the development of children in three of the ten sites). The research will provide important information to policy makers who need to decide which services to emphasize for which populations in JOBS in the future.
The implementation and process analysis--the second major evaluation study area--is intended to inform the impact analysis and assess the feasibility and replicability of different approaches. It
will do this by examining how various JOBS approaches are implemented in each the individuals' patterns of participation in JOBS and other services available in the community, the relationship between participation and individuals' baseline characteristics, and the site contexts.
The cost-effectiveness study--the third major study area--will estimate the total costs of the various JOBS approaches in each site as well as the costs of particular activities or components within each approach. These costs will then be compared to program benefits, as estimated through the impact study, to determine the relative cost-effectiveness of different JOBS approaches.
Routine uses or records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:
The following routine uses for the system are proposed:
1. Information may be disclosed to the Department of Justice, to a court or other tribunal, or to another party before such tribunal, when (a) DHHS, or any component thereof; or (b) Any DHHS employee in his or her official capacity; or (c) Any DHHS employee in his or her individual capacity where the Department of Justice (or DHHS, where it is authorized to do so) has agreed to represent the employee; or (d) The United States or any agency thereof where DHHS determines that the litigation is likely to affect DHHS or any of its components, is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and DHHS determines that the use of such records by the Department of Justice, the tribunal, or the other party is relevant and necessary to the litigation and would help in the effective representation of the governmental party, provided, however, that in each case, DHHS determines that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.
2. Disclosure may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to a verified inquiry from the congressional office made at the written request of that individual.
3. The evaluation project is being performed under a contract. Records may be disclosed to employees of the contractor who need the record in performing their duties related to the contract. The contractor will be required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards with respect to such records.
4. Records may be disclosed to the contractor and its subcontractors for purposes of collecting, collating, analyzing, aggregating or otherwise refining records in this system. The contractor and its subcontractors shall be required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards with respect to such records.
5. Records may be disclosed to student volunteers, individuals working under a personal services contract, and other individuals performing functions for the Department but technically not having the status of agency employees, if they need access to the records in order to perform their assigned agency functions.
Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:
Storage: Magnetic tape and disk, paper records.
Retrievability: The research sites will provide DHHS's contractor with identifying information on each sample member at the time of random assignment, which will be maintained in automated and paper files at the contractor's location. For all sample members, these identifiers will be used to access administrative records, as described above, and to add to files containing survey and test data.
The contractor will assign a sample identifier to each sample member and any personal identifiers will be encrypted on the research files. Thus, the identifiers will be used only for data collection
and validation purposes. Once the files are created, the sample ID will be used for maintenance of the research files, with the identifiers encrypted. A master “decryption'' routine will be maintained to link the files. Access to this file will be restricted to contractor staff who need to use this routine to validate data.
Safeguards: The following safeguards are routinely employed by DHHS and the contractor to insure confidentiality:
1. All contract staff sign an agreement to comply with the corporate policies on data security and confidentiality;
2. All data, both paper files and computerized files, are kept in secure areas, with access limited on a need to know basis, using locked files, password controls and encryption routines;
3. Merged data sources will have identifying information encoded to preclude overt identification of individuals;
4. All reports, tables and printed materials will present only aggregate information;
5. Compilations of individualized data will not be provided to agencies at the research sites; and
6. Confidentiality agreements will be executed with any participating subcontractors and consultants who must obtain access to the detailed files.
Any users of the files in the future will be held to the same confidentiality and use restrictions outlined above.
Retention and disposal: Data will be maintained for at least seven years or as long as it serves legitimate research purposes related to the evaluation. Data disposal will consist of shredding all individual records (and certifying) and destroying computer files, other than the Public Use File, which will not contain identifiable individual data.
System manager(s) and address: Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201.
Notification procedures: To determine if a record exists, write to the system manager at the address indicated above. Provide notarized signature as proof of identity. The request should specify the name or identification number and the time period of association with the JOBS Evaluation.
Record access procedures: Same as notification procedure. Requestors should also reasonably specify the record contents being sought. (These procedures are in accordance with Departmental Regulations (45 CFR 5b.5(a)(2)).
Contesting record procedures: Contact the System Manager named above, reasonably identify the record(s), and specify the information to be contested. State the reason for contesting it (e.g., why it is inaccurate, irrelevant, incomplete, or not current). (These procedures are in accordance with Departmental Regulations (45 CFR 5b.7)).
Record source categories: Information for individuals will be collected from local social services agency records, including benefit payment and claims files, from service providers and from interviews with sample members and their children.
Systems exempted from certain provisions of the act: None.
List of Participating Sites:
Michigan--Kent and Wayne Counties: Director, Bureau of Employment Services, Michigan
Department of Social Services, 235 South Grand Avenue, Lansing, MI 48909
Ohio--Franklin County: Director, Ohio Department of Human Services, Office of Welfare Reform, 30 East Broad Street, 31st floor, Columbus, OH 43266
Georgia--Fulton County: Director, Division of Family and Children Services, Georgia Department of Human Resources, 878 Peachtree Street, NE., Atlanta, GA 30309
Oklahoma--Oklahoma City, Cleveland and Pottawatomie Counties: Program Support Supervisor, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Family Support Services Division, PO Box 25352, Oklahoma City, OK 73125
California--Riverside County: Associate Program Analyst, GAIN and Employment Operations Bureau, California Department of Social Services, 744 P Street, MS-6136, Sacramento, CA 95814
Oregon--Washington and Multnomah Counties: Program Analyst--JOBS unit, Adult and Family Services Division, Oregon Department of Human Resources, 415 Public Service Building, Salem, OR 97310
Systems exempted from certain provision of the Act: None.