Federal Downsizing

Observations on Agencies' Implementation of the Buyout Authority Gao ID: T-GGD-95-164 May 17, 1995

How have federal agencies used the buyout authority provided under the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994? This testimony provides information on the results of the buyouts, the management strategy used to implement the buyout authority, the restructuring plans developed by those agencies that offered buyouts while also being authorized staff increases, the effects of the workforce reductions on agencies, and restructuring initiatives at the State Department. GAO concludes that the buyout program has helped agencies meet their workforce reduction goals while reducing the need for costly and disruptive reductions in force. Although agency officials described both positive and negative effects of the buyouts, their full impact will not be apparent for some time. Because further cuts in the federal workforce are expected, adequate strategic and workforce planning will be essential if agencies with fewer employees are to maintain--and even boost--their productivity and performance levels.

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