Federal Workforce:

How Certain Agencies Are Implementing the Grade Reduction Program

GGD-86-33: Published: Jan 3, 1986. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Administration's grade reduction program, known as the Bulge Program, which was: (1) established to reduce the number of grade 11 to 15 positions in the federal government; and (2) expected to save approximately $1.7 billion and improve position management over a 4-year period.

GAO found that: (1) although the Office of Personnel Management's efforts to assess agency position management are informative and could make agencies more aware of their position management responsibilities, comparison to a governmentwide average is not a true measure of an agency's progress in implementing improvements; (2) since the Office of Management and Budget required each agency to reduce its fiscal 1985 budget request by an amount equal to the compensation of grades 11 to 15 employees, the agencies varied in where they applied the budget cuts and in their approaches to implement the program; (3) the number of full-time permanent employees in grade 11 to 15 increased during the first 6 months of the program; and (4) the results of the program will be difficult to assess because the agencies are not required to establish monitoring systems to report changes resulting from the program.

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