GAO's Observations on H.R. 4719, the Federal Service Priority Placement Act of 1994
T-GGD-94-213, Sep 21, 1994
GAO discussed proposed legislation that would direct the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish a governmentwide interagency placement program (IPP) for displaced federal employees affected by reductions in force (RIF). GAO noted that: (1) it fully supports the bill's goal of placing RIF employees in other federal jobs; (2) RIF workers can be a valuable resource to federal agencies because most of them already have the knowledge, training, and security clearances needed to make immediate contributions to any agency with vacancies to fill; (3) although the current IPP has improved the effectiveness of job placement assistance for RIF employees, H.R. 4719 would offer several improvements over the current program and save the government a substantial amount by reducing unemployment compensation outlays; (4) OPM needs to resolve issues regarding what types of appointments IPP should cover, how the program might affect agencies' hiring goals, the degree of flexibility that should be accorded agencies in selecting candidates, and the possibility of additional approaches to enhance the placement program; (5) although H.R. 4719 would improve current job placement programs, the best design for an expanded IPP remains uncertain; and (6) OPM needs to study how best to place RIF employees to ensure that IPP effectively serves the needs of displaced workers and the government as a whole.