Classification and Qualification Standards for the GS-1410 Library-Information Service Series

GGD-83-97: Published: Aug 12, 1983. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) development of proposed classification and qualification standards for the Library-Information Service occupational series.

GAO determined that OPM did not exceed its legal authority to develop classification and qualification standards and that its actions were generally consistent with those affecting other recently developed standards. However, OPM has not fully addressed the criticisms made by librarians regarding proposed changes that would: (1) reduce the entry grade for persons hired with a Master of Library Science degree earned in less than 2 full academic years; and (2) redefine the GS-5 entry-level requirements. GAO also believes that librarians' concerns about documentation and sampling aspects of OPM methodology deserve further consideration. GAO suggests that, to further enhance the credibility of its surveys, OPM may wish to research the feasibility of conducting statistically reliable occupational surveys and providing for a documentation process that shows more clearly how conclusions are supported.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OPM classification actions remain suspended pending the results of its evaluation of the entire standards process. OPM classification actions on this standard are a low priority with no set date for further action due to a continuing review of standards development policies. A policy change was made making this recommendation moot.

    Recommendation: OPM should consider determining whether: (1) federal librarians hired at GS-9 with less than a 2-year Master of Library Science degree and no experience have typically performed all of the duties and responsibilities of the GS-9 position successfully; and (2) federal librarians hired without the Master of Library Science degree typically performed all duties and responsibilities successfully and were able to progress through the career ladder.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management


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