An essential element to acquiring, developing, and retaining high-quality federal employees is agencies' effective use of human capital flexibilities. These flexibilities represent the policies and practices that an agency has the authority to implement in managing its workforce. Congressional requesters asked GAO to provide information on agency and union officials' views about the most effective human capital flexibilities, additional flexibilities needed, and whether additional flexibilities could be implemented while also protecting employees' rights. GAO was also asked to identify key practices for effective use of flexibilities. GAO interviewed the human resources directors of the federal government's 24 largest departments and agencies, and representatives of 4 national organizations representing federal employees and managers. GAO further focused its efforts on 7 federal agencies--Department of Air Force, General Services Administration, Internal Revenue Service, International Trade Administration, U.S. Mint, State Department, and Veterans Benefits Administration--interviewing more than 200 managers, supervisors, human resources officials, and union representatives in headquarters and field locations.
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