Office of Vocational and Adult Education
A. Immediate Office of the Assistant Secretary
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education provides overall management, policy, and program coordination for OVAE’s program activities. OVAE has two staff offices and one Center reporting to the Assistant Secretary.
The Administrative Staff (Staff) provides administrative and managerial support to OVAE. The Staff establishes policies and procedures for developing and implementing all internal administrative matters such as budget, finance, management analysis, personnel, contracts and grants, general services, and computer-based word processing systems.
In carrying out its responsibilities, the Staff performs the following functions under the following categories:
Program and Salaries and Expenses Budgets
- Develops estimates and supporting data for budget formulation and budget execution.
- Develops budget justification narratives.
- Prepares briefing materials, testimony, and justifications for presentation at Congressional hearings on budget requests, and responds to Congressional inquiries on budget-related issues.
- Develops, prepares, and monitors the financial operating plans for OVAE expenditures.
- Certifies funds availability and obligates funds into the Department's EDCAPS system.
- Approves and processes documents relating to travel, field readers for OVAE discretionary grant competitions, OVAE personnel, overtime, printing, small administrative procurements ($10,000 or less), and other expenditure documents.
- Reviews financial reports such as Grant Administration and Payment System (GAPS) reports, Education Central Automated Processing System (EDCAPS) Document Summary reports, Travel Manager Obligation report and Un-obligated Expenditures reports and performs fiscal analyses to confirm that obligations/de-obligations are posted.
- Reviews, analyzes, and prepares reorganization proposals for OVAE, and monitors their progress through the established approval process as outlined in the Department’s Administrative Communications Directive OM: 1-103. .
- Develops systems of OVAE personnel workload indicators and work measurement as required by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
- Prepares delegations of authority for OVAE and coordinates the delegations process.
- Maintains the personnel management system including recruitments, promotions, transfers, and terminations on all OVAE employees; develops or reviews OVAE position descriptions; monitors FTE allocation of staff; and provides payroll liaison services.
- Reviews all performance appraisals for OVAE employees (SES, PMRS, GPAS) to assure adherence to Departmental policies, directives, regulations, and ensures deadline dates are met.
- Coordinates and controls employee development activities with the Training and Development Group.
- Provides advice to the Assistant Secretary and OVAE managers on labor relations matters including grievances, employee discipline, and remedial actions.
- Initiates and processes all security clearances for OVAE staff.
Contracts and Grants
- Establishes and monitors the annual schedule of grant and contract activities for OVAE.
- Advises OVAE management and staff on policies and procedures for procurement.
- Develops space plans for OVAE staff, and coordinates facilities management activities.
- Coordinates internal OVAE moves and telecommunication planning and implementation.
- Provides daily messenger service to Departmental buildings.
- Develops the annual OVAE Automated Data Processing (ADP) budget plans, and monitors and maintains controls on allocated ADP funds.
- Establishes criteria and implements and installs computer-based word processing systems throughout OVAE offices.
Policy, Research and Evaluation Staff
The Policy, Research and Evaluation Staff (PRES) is responsible for policy analysis and development; design, oversight and analysis of research and program evaluation; and facilitation of the dynamic interaction of policy development with research and evaluation of career and technical and adult educational practices and policies. PRES is responsible for policy analysis, development of legislative and regulatory documents, and the preparation and dissemination of OVAE program information.
In addition, PRES is responsible for overseeing and guiding all aspects of OVAE's national programs under section 114 of the Perkins Act (specifically the national research center); program evaluation; data analysis; management of unsolicited research proposals; and development of written and electronic publications and resources pertaining to OVAE-funded research projects.
PRES directly manages research and evaluation programs as identified by the Office of the Assistant Secretary, and PRES staff also serve as expert team members on other projects that are assigned by the Office of the Assistant Secretary to the Division of Academic and Technical Education and the Division of Adult Education and Literacy which provide day-to-day programmatic direction.
In performing its responsibilities, PRES:
- Guides development of all materials related to legislative authorization for programs operated by OVAE.
- Reviews pending legislation and coordinates OVAE responses to requests for legislative review.
- Guides the development and publication of all written and electronic publications produced directly by OVAE staff or by entities working with, or funded by, OVAE through grants, contracts or cooperative agreements.
- Guides OVAE’s implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act (including Strategic Plan) by coordinating with the Divisions in developing the performance measures/indicators for all OVAE programs and all other related activities; and coordinates with the Department’s Accountability and Performance Branch in the development of the Strategic Plan and performance measures/indicators.
- Guides and coordinates with the Divisions the development of national evaluations and reports (including reports to Congress) on performance of OVAE's programs.
- Maintains all policy memoranda, policy letters, and legal opinions pertaining to OVAE administered programs.
- Analyzes, as appropriate, any relevant research reports, national program evaluations, labor-supply demand and economic information, and similar documentation and prepares synthesis reports on the implications for all matters related to OVAE programs.
- Provides assistance to Office of the Assistant Secretary in establishing national priorities and programs.
- Guides, in coordination with the Divisions, the development and drafting of Requests for Proposals and Federal Register notices inviting applications and assists the Divisions in preparing appropriate Information Collection packages. Collaborates with the Divisions in reviewing applications and proposals, making recommendations for funding, negotiating of awards, and provides feedback to applicants and offerors not being funded.
- Guides OVAE implementation of the Department’s E-Rulemaking and Good Guidance Implementation procedures and related activities and collaborates with the Divisions in developing policy and guidance documents.
- Develops and manages the regulations process for OVAE programs; coordinates and controls the clearance of rules and regulations, program announcements and guidelines, and notices for publication in the Federal Register.
- Prepares OVAE response and leadership to the Small Business Innovative Research Program.
- Acts as the primary OVAE liaison with the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs, the Office of the Under Secretary, other appropriate ED offices concerning OVAE program policy, legislation and regulations, and the Office of Management and Budget, and the Government Accountability Office, on behalf of the Assistant Secretary.
- Works with the Divisions to ensure that programmatic data-gathering and analysis required under OVAE's legislative authorities are coordinated with those undertaken by National Center for Education Statistics, other parts of the Institute of Educational Sciences, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Office of Civil Rights, and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.