Federal Personnel:

Review of Evaluation of Personnel Demonstration Project at Commerce

GGD-91-93: Published: May 14, 1991. Publicly Released: May 14, 1991.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) contractor's evaluation of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) personnel management demonstration project to hire and retain capable employees.

GAO found that the evaluation of the NIST project's first 2 years was not sound, since: (1) although the contractor's proposed evaluation scheme was sound, it did not properly implement the intended research design; (2) the contractor did not convincingly demonstrate the appropriateness of proposed comparison groups; (3) the contractor did not base its evaluation conclusions on preproject data; (4) changing conditions at NIST could affect evaluation findings by producing effects that might be misinterpreted as project effects; (5) the evaluation design lacked an adequate analysis plan; (6) OPM funding was insufficient to permit adequate staffing for the evaluation; and (7) the contractor gave no priority to collecting and analyzing information regarding nonproject changes.

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