Transition Series:

The Public Service

OCG-89-2TR: Published: Nov 1, 1988. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 1988.

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GAO summarized issues concerning the federal government's need for highly qualified personnel to carry out federal programs and to achieve results.

GAO noted that: (1) the negative image of public service presents a major barrier to attracting and retaining staff; (2) the breakdown of the federal government's pay structure has resulted in increased personnel attrition rates and a decrease in federal agencies' ability to hire competitively with the private sector; and (3) rapid leadership turnover, inadequate training, questionable ethical conduct, and lack of strong leadership among executive agencies and departments have contributed to a poor working relationship between Congress and the executive branch. GAO believes that the President, agency heads, and Congress should develop a more collaborative process for identifying priorities and assessing progress toward those objectives.

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