Federal Employee Suggestion Program

Gao ID: T-GGD-88-4 November 4, 1987

GAO discussed the implementation and effectiveness of federal employee suggestion programs, focusing on such programs in the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of State, and the Architect of the Capitol. GAO noted that: (1) the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was responsible for issuing regulations to carry out such programs; (2) 36 agencies reported achieving tangible benefits of about $200 million in fiscal year 1985; (3) program activities and results varied widely among the agencies, with DOD agencies such as the Air Force receiving 16.1 suggestions per 100 employees, with savings of $71 million, and State receiving .13 suggestions per 100 employees and no tangible benefits; (4) although the law specifically stated that the incentive program applied to the Architect of the Capitol, that agency did not establish a program because it believed that Congress did not intend to provide OPM with oversight over a legislative branch agency; (5) program results appeared to be directly related to the level of management emphasis and program resources; (6) OPM did little to evaluate program operations at the agency level; and (7) OPM initiatives for program improvement include identifying and following up with organizations that are not reporting program results and contacting agencies with little program activity.

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