Progress Report on Federal Executive Development Programs

Gao ID: GGD-84-92 August 15, 1984

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed executive development programs for Senior Executive Service (SES) members, focusing on: (1) how the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is fulfilling its program oversight responsibilities; and (2) how agencies are carrying out executive development programs.

GAO found that OPM and the agencies that were evaluated have established and are operating executive development programs. OPM issued guidance and regulations, monitors agencies' progress, and administers programs for agencies too small to operate their own programs. Most of the agency officials and SES members contacted by GAO believe that the programs are beneficial. However, several of the agencies were concerned about OPM guidance for executive development programs and expressed concern that guidance materials lack consistency and are difficult to use. In some cases, agencies are not complying with OPM regulations. OPM has revised its regulations to address agency concerns and reduce noncompliance. However, other organizational and operational changes in OPM to implement a revised approach to executive development are just getting underway, and GAO believes that it is too early to assess the impact of these changes.

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