Obstacles Hamper the Office of Personnel Management's Evaluation of the Implementation of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act

Gao ID: FPCD-81-69 September 14, 1981

GAO completed a limited review of the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) 5-year strategy for evaluating the implementation and impact of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. GAO identified problems which it believes could hamper the collection of data needed to evaluate the Act.

GAO identified the following management and technical weaknesses which it believes warrant careful consideration by OPM: (1) the basic objectives of the evaluation are not clearly defined; (2) the effectiveness of central management in the evaluation's activities and resources is hampered by overlapping authorities in the design, execution, and reporting for the specific projects and in competing resource demands of the program offices; (3) the design and implementation of the evaluation have technical limitations which make it difficult to support conclusions on a Government-wide basis or serve as a basis for recommending legislative and policy changes. In view of these weaknesses, GAO expressed concern over whether the ongoing and planned series of studies would provide the information anticipated by the evaluation strategy.

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