Federal Civilian Personnel:

A Work Force Undergoing Change

FPCD-83-9: Published: Oct 14, 1982. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 1982.

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GAO reported on the current and emerging federal civilian personnel issues and raised questions that may be addressed in the future.

In fiscal year 1982, 2.8 million federal civilian employees will be paid $90 billion in salaries and benefits which represents approximately 20 percent of the federal budget. The government's objectives regarding the effective management of these employees are to ensure that civilian personnel policies and practices are equitable, meeting objectives, and effectively administered. GAO reported that the primary questions in these areas center around: (1) the turbulence brought about by decreasing employment levels; (2) the attempt to reduce payroll costs in most civilian agencies; and (3) the increasing number of civilian employees in the Department of Defense. The effectiveness of federal personnel management is another important issue, and the major developments aimed at improving personnel management are taking place under the authority of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. GAO also discussed controversial issues related to the administration's reduction in force (RIF) policy, focusing on the treatment of displaced personnel, RIF-related cost savings, midyear budget changes, and effects on part-time employees.

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