Both Henry Kerner, the president’s pick to be the U.S. Special Counsel at the Office of Special Counsel, and Claire Grady, the nominee to be the undersecretary for management at the Homeland Security Department, say they both share similar workforce priorities.
Agency leaders are reviewing tens of thousands of comments from their employees and the public on ways to make government more effective and efficient. In speaking with their workforces about their ideas, most leaders say the focus has generally been on how the agency can better deliver the mission and services to the public, not on forthcoming personnel cuts.
Federal HR expert Jeff Neal applauds the efforts of lawmakers to investigate civil service reforms and calls for legislation that brings meaningful training for supervisors.
Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, said she and subcommittee and Chairman James Lankford (R-Okla) will make civil service reform a major focus this year. She and Lankford are looking for ideas that attack the root causes of some of the most challenging problems facing the federal workforce.
Cabinet secretaries, many of whom are newcomers to government, say they’re impressed by the dedication and hard work they’ve seen from colleagues at the career levels of their agencies within the first 100 days of the Trump administration. They offered their congratulations to the 26 finalists of the Partnership for Public Service’s prestigious Service to America Medals.
The Government Accountability Office’s report on reducing agency fragmentation, overlap, and duplication shows the federal government could save tens of billions of dollars — if agencies choose to act on the recommendations and Congress offers its help.
Foreign affairs imposed on the Trump administration. Treasury moved to sanction North Koreans believed to have military ties. Trump said the U.S. would take unilateral action in response to Pyonyang threats.
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) asked that the Government Accountability Office to conduct a full review of President Donald Trump’s temporary hiring freeze. Citing GAO’s past study of previous hiring freezes, both senators said they’re concerned the current freeze isn’t saving government more money and is prompting more agency inefficiencies.
Amid reports that the White House is planning budget cuts at the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for the President’s border security and immigration policies, some senators are worried the Homeland Security Department will forget the lessons it’s learned about risk-based management. They asked Elaine Duke, the nominee to be the DHS deputy secretary, about her approach to future budgetary decisions.
The Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act of 2015 would create a “culture of excellence,” promoting wise use of taxpayer dollars.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ federal workforce subcommittee said it’s on a fact-finding mission this year. Subcommittee Chairman James Lankford (R-Okla.) said he wants to hear from federal managers about the existing authorities and processes that make their jobs more difficult.
Gen. John Kelly, the President-elect’s pick to be the Homeland Security Department’s new secretary, said he recognizes DHS’ immense challenges and plans to study up on the previous administration’s attempts at management reform.
With 31 percent of the federal workforce eligible to retire by September 2019, most agencies acknowledge they’re racing against the clock to recruit and hire the next generation of federal employees. But repeat, persistent challenges are preventing them from recruiting new, young talent, agency chief human capital officers say.
In today’s Top Federal headlines, a new bill gives agencies more options to hire new talent, and another major IT contract is stalled by protests.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wants to get a closer look at how many political appointees the Office of Personnel Management has converted to career employees over the past nine months.