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Transitioning Veterans: Improved Oversight Needed to Enhance Implementation of Transition Assistance Program


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Over the next few years, over a million military servicemembers are expected to transition to civilian life and some may face challenges such as finding employment. To help them, TAP provides departing servicemembers employment assistance and information on VA benefits, among other things. Begun in 2011, efforts to revamp TAP are underway based on the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 and the administrations recommendations. The act also mandated GAO to review TAP. This report addresses: 1) the status of TAP implementation; 2) the extent to which elements of effective implementation and evaluation of TAP have been addressed; and 3) any challenges that may remain. To do this GAO identified five elements of effective implementation and evaluation based on relevant federal laws and previously established GAO criteria for training programs; reviewed related GAO work; assessed reports, plans, and policies provided by agencies that administer TAP; interviewed officials from entities that support servicemembers and veterans; and conducted four nongeneralizable discussion groups with servicemembers who had taken TAP at three military installations. What GAO Recommends GAO recommends that DOD improve oversight and implementation of TAP, including actions to gauge participation for all of the services and collect data about National Guard and Reserve members experiences. DOD disagreed with two of GAOs three recommendations. GAO continues to believe that the recommendations are needed as discussed in the report.



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