Interagency Advisory Group for Personnel Policy and Operations

Gao ID: FPCD-80-77 September 15, 1980

Since implementation of the Civil Service Reform Act in 1979, the relationship between the new Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and agency personnel staffs has been fundamentally altered. Accordingly, the Interagency Advisory Group (IAG) was restructured to reflect this changed relationship. IAG was, and is, an excellent forum for regular communication from the agency personnel directors to OPM, as well as a network for personnel directors. The current structure of IAG attempts to provide a forum for personnel directors to discuss: (1) policy issues of broad significance relating to work force productivity, effectiveness, and accountability; (2) proposed legislation and executive initiatives concerning recruitment and management issues; and (3) program improvements especially in relation to deregulation of authority. IAG members are organized into five major "community of interest" subgroups. The Executive Committee serves as the IAG steering committee and sets yearly objectives. Specific programs and technical issues are studied by IAG program committees, which report to both IAG and OPM. OPM has tried in a variety of ways to make IAG a dynamic organization responsive to recent changes in legislation.

IAG should be relocated from the Office of Planning and Evaluation (OPE), where it is housed, to the Agency Relations Group. OPE could continue providing the necessary white papers to IAG. By locating IAG in the Agency Relations Group, the policy development functions would not be lost; rather, IAG would be unified with its mission subgroup directors and the agency officers who have daily contact with agencies. This would achieve a better functional fit. The IAG Executive Committee should include the Associate Director for Agency Relations and the four Assistant Directors of the community of interest groups as ex-officio members. This would help communication and coordination and provide incentives for more active involvement of the Assistant Directors. Further, the Executive Committee should review the current IAG organizational structure; specifically, alternative methods of organizing the personnel directors. IAG should also consider setting an annual policy agenda in conjunction with the OPM policy agenda, which could then be used as the basis for planning quarterly conferences.

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