OPM's Initial Attempts To Implement Demonstration Provisions of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978

FPCD-80-63: Published: Sep 5, 1980. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 1980.

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GAO observed the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) initial attempts to encourage and evaluate proposals for demonstration projects authorized by Title VI of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. These projects are intended to determine whether a specified change in personnel management policies and procedures would result in improved Federal personnel management. They can involve waivers of certain existing laws, rules, and regulations. For that reason, it is required that project proposals proceed through a process of public notice, public hearing, and congressional review.

GAO found that the results of the efforts of OPM to solicit demonstration projects were disappointing. Procedures for evaluating proposals were inefficient and not based on a framework which recognizes the unique costs and benefits of the demonstration concept. Moreover, the initial projects may have limited potential for application beyond the demonstration sites and, in one case, may have difficulty demonstrating successful results. Federal law requires agencies to consult with employees before including them in a demonstration project. But the objectives of consultation and the extent to which it should occur are not specified by law, and OPM has not provided additional guidance in this area.

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  • employment icon, source: GAO

    Priority Open Recommendations:

    Department of Labor
    GAO-19-395SP: Published: Apr 3, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 2019.

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