The Public Service:

Issues Confronting the Federal Civilian Workforce

GGD-92-24: Published: Jan 24, 1992. Publicly Released: Jan 24, 1992.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed: (1) issues affecting the federal public service, as identified in the 74 reports and 18 testimonies it issued in 1990 on the federal public service; (2) significant improvements in federal human resource management; and (3) key recommendations it made that Congress, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and other agencies have not yet acted upon.

GAO found that significant improvements in federal human resource management included: (1) the enactment of comprehensive pay reform legislation; (2) the designation of a single government agency with lead responsibility for federal employee drug testing; (3) increased OPM emphasis on employee performance management and training; (4) revised regulations regarding reductions in force; (5) the enactment of legislation prohibiting agencies' use of appropriated funds for Schedule C appointees' salaries; (6) improved agency hiring practices; and (7) reduced expenses for health benefits programs. GAO also found that key recommendations still requiring action involve: (1) performance incentives for federal employees; (2) clarification of the uses and goals of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program; (3) OPM regulatory and enforcement authority over the employment of consultants and experts; (4) agency authorization to incur obligations but not expend funds when appropriations expire; (5) improved administration and effectiveness of lobbying laws and regulation; and (6) comprehensive reform of the federal labor-management relations program.