Assistance to Displaced Federal Civilian Employees--Avoiding Loss of Needed Trained Personnel

FPCD-80-3: Published: Oct 16, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 1979.

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A review was made of assistance provided to Federal civilian employees displaced from their positions through no fault of their own when agencies reorganize or act to adjust to program, funding, personnel ceilings, or other changes. The review was conducted at six selected Federal facilities representing both civilian and Department of Defense (DOD) agencies in the Denver, Colorado, and Ogden, Utah, areas. These six agencies affected the employment of over 1,800 personnel during January 1977 through December 1978.

In the six agencies reviewed, the displacing agency provided most placement assistance before the need for separation from Federal service. These efforts, referred to as positive placement, assisted over 70 percent of the affected employees. The priority placement program of DOD, covering approximately one-third of the total Federal civilian employment, was considered to be the most effective, efficient, and sophisticated program in the Federal Government. In contrast to DOD's priority placement program, the non-DOD agencies develop and operate their positive placement efforts independently of each other. Most of the agencies established reemployment priority lists; however, the mandatory use of these lists, as called for in the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Personnel Manual, appeared to be of little value. When an agency registers a displaced employee on its reemployment priority list, the employee is also permitted to register with the displaced employee program (DEP). Although the DEP is a program to supplement the actions of displacing agencies, the regulations encourage early DEP registration to afford the employee maximum opportunity for referral and placement. The DEP, however, affords registrants little chance for placement because: the basic program restrictions are too weak, there is not much management support for DEP, and the image of a displaced employee is low. There is a need for improved employee counseling, and the early and accurate representation of employee skills and qualifications when registering with DEP.

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