Department of Energy:

Training Cost Data for Fiscal Years 1995 Through 1997

RCED-97-140R: Published: May 6, 1997. Publicly Released: Jun 6, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the training that the Department of Energy (DOE) provides to its employees and contractors, focusing on: (1) DOE's training costs for fiscal years (FY) 1995 through 1997; (2) examples of classes offered by DOE; (3) the size of the training organizations for selected DOE offices and selected contractors; (4) the extent to which selected DOE headquarters offices have completed annual training plans and their employees have completed individual development plans; and (5) DOE's investment in training compared with that of private industry.

GAO noted that (1) according to DOE's data, in FYs 1995 and 1996, DOE spent about $554 million and $476 million, respectively, on training for its own and contractor employees; (2) in FY 1997, DOE projects that it will spend about $438 million for training; (3) with these funds, DOE offers a wide range of training, from technical courses on nuclear physics and chemistry to nontechnical courses on back care and defensive driving; (4) DOE's training structure is very decentralized; (5) headquarters offices, field offices, and contractors all have their own training programs with dedicated staff; (6) the size of the training staffs for selected DOE offices ranged from 1 or 2 individuals to more than 20; (7) the extent to which DOE staff and these offices met DOE-wide training requirements varied from office to office; (8) these requirements state, in part, that each employee must complete an individual development plan; (9) in FY 1996, the percentage of staff completing an individual development plan varied, from 25 to 30 percent in some DOE headquarters offices to 70 to 90 percent in others; and (10) for 1995, the average number of training days per year per employee (about 8.0) and the average training investment per year per employee (ranging from $1,966 to $3,415) were higher for DOE than for private industry, according to statistics reported by DOE and by the America Society for Training and Development's Benchmarking Forum.

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