Part-Time Employment in the Federal Government

FPCD-82-54: Published: Jul 12, 1982. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 1982.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO examined the status of part-time employment in the Federal Government and the agencies' implementation of the Federal Employee Part-Time Career Employment Act.

The number of permanent part-time employees in the government increased by almost 14,000 from 1979 to 1981; however, since that time, overall part-time employment has been declining. In view of the Reagan Administration's projected reductions of 150,000 positions in the federal civilian work force by the end of fiscal year 1987, the number of federal part-time employees may continue to decline. GAO found that part-time employees were separated during reductions in force in fiscal year 1981 at a slightly higher rate than full-time employees. GAO also found that most of the agencies which it reviewed violated certain requirements of the act. Only two of seven agencies made attempts to determine the feasibility of filling vacant positions on a part-time basis and had established procedures and criteria for converting positions. Four of the seven agencies reviewed had not established annual goals and timetables for part-time employment. In addition, five of the agencies did not have any process to monitor their part-time programs, nor were their part-time programs reviewed during the agencies' personnel management evaluations. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has provided adequate guidance on the program to agencies; however, its involvement in the program has been limited. OPM completion of a special research program on part-time employment, which was required by the act, is in jeopardy because of staffing and budget reductions at the participating agencies.

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