GGD-96-83R: Published: Mar 21, 1996. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed reductions-in-force (RIF) at the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), focusing on: (1) the procedures USGS followed in establishing single-position competitive levels for scientists within its Geological Division; and (2) the relationship between an OPM headquarters reorganization and a subsequent RIF affecting employees in parts of the newly structured organization. GAO found that: (1) in response to expected budget cuts, USGS conducted a nationwide RIF within its Geologic Division that resulted in 176 employee terminations, 124 employee grade reductions, and 115 employee reassignments; (2) in preparation, USGS established single-position competitive levels according to appropriate guidelines; (3) the single-position competitive levels determination process used by USGS included development and adoption of a revised competitive levels determination process, review of position descriptions, assignment of positions to competitive levels, and an independent review; (4) OPM reorganized its Administration Group in response to a task force's recommendations; (5) subsequently lost revenue due to the privatization of OPM's training and investigative functions prompted a RIF in the Administration Group; (6) despite the overlap in time, the Administration Group's reorganization and RIF were caused by separate circumstances.

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