The Public Service

Issues Confronting the Federal Civilian Workforce Gao ID: GGD-92-24 January 24, 1992

This report addresses key issues affecting the federal public service as identified by GAO reports and testimony in 1990. These topics range from pay reform to drug testing. This report also summarizes, for fiscal year 1991, significant improvements in federal human resource management and key recommendations not yet acted on that GAO made to Congress, the Office of Personnel Management, and other agencies.

GAO found that significant improvements in federal human resource management included: (1) the enactment of comprehensive pay reform legislation; (2) the designation of a single government agency with lead responsibility for federal employee drug testing; (3) increased OPM emphasis on employee performance management and training; (4) revised regulations regarding reductions in force; (5) the enactment of legislation prohibiting agencies' use of appropriated funds for Schedule C appointees' salaries; (6) improved agency hiring practices; and (7) reduced expenses for health benefits programs. GAO also found that key recommendations still requiring action involve: (1) performance incentives for federal employees; (2) clarification of the uses and goals of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program; (3) OPM regulatory and enforcement authority over the employment of consultants and experts; (4) agency authorization to incur obligations but not expend funds when appropriations expire; (5) improved administration and effectiveness of lobbying laws and regulation; and (6) comprehensive reform of the federal labor-management relations program.

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