Superfund Work Force Issues

T-RCED-87-41: Published: Jul 23, 1987. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 1987.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program's shortage of skilled personnel, employee turnover, pay differentials with the private sector, and employee training needs. GAO found that: (1) Superfund employees believed that there were staffing and skill shortages in the program in early 1987; (2) full EPA use of additional fiscal year (FY) 1987 positions should have alleviated perceived shortages; (3) EPA needs to use more objective techniques and productivity measures to better support and analyze future staffing and skill requirements; (4) the turnover rate for Superfund employees more than doubled between FY 1985 and FY 1986, surpassing the overall federal rate by 2 percent; (5) former Superfund employees most frequently cited lack of advancement opportunity as the reason they left EPA; and (6) Superfund employees receive less pay than their private-sector counterparts. GAO also found that EPA: (1) took action to enhance employee promotion opportunities; (2) is considering ways to increase Superfund employee compensation through bonuses and added fringe benefits; and (3) developed a plan to improve its Superfund training program.

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