Federal Employment:

Poor Service Found at Federal Job Information Centers

GGD-92-116: Published: Jul 28, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 1992.

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GAO reviewed the services provided to job seekers by Federal Job Information Centers (FJIC) operated by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

GAO found that: (1) a number of obstacles existed that would likely frustrate prospective applicants and perhaps discourage pursuit of federal employment; (2) multiple telephone calls were required to reach FJIC; (3) calls were connected on the first try in only 18 of 43 attempts, and in 6 cases calls never got through; (4) FJIC were clean and organized, but small, sparsely furnished, and uninviting; (5) the available printed material and computers at FJIC could answer only the most basic questions about federal employment; (6) 12 of the 20 FJIC visited were staffed by OPM information specialists, but they were available only part of the day; and (7) compared to printed material and computers, information specialists were better able to address questions, but their answers were sometimes incomplete or inaccurate.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OPM reported that it had greatly improved the services provided at its employment information centers and to job seekers. OPM is integrating the telephone and computer systems in all centers to provide job seekers with general employment information, local and nationwide job opportunities listings, and access to information specialists. Although the integrated system ensure that everyone who calls receives the same information, the systems may not be flexible or personal enough to guarantee that job seekers get the information they need.

    Recommendation: The Director, OPM, should give FJIC a greater customer focus by improving the services they provide. Steps should be taken to ensure that job seekers receive accurate, timely, and comprehensive employment information with a minimum of delay, effort, and inconvenience. Steps that should be considered include: (1) installing more telephone lines to increase the likelihood that callers will be able to contact FJIC without an undue number of busy signals; (2) ensuring that recorded messages are audible and computer equipment is properly functioning; (3) providing weekend or evening hours to better accommodate job seekers who have daytime commitments; (4) furnishing FJIC with tables and chairs to make it easier for job seekers to record information; (5) staffing all FJIC with information specialists to answer job seekers' questions and ensure that the answers they provide are correct and complete; and (6) making the most frequently requested printed material and application forms available for visitors to take with them.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management


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