DHS was provided with significant flexibility to design a modern human capital management system. Its proposed system has both precedent-setting implications for the executive branch and farreaching implications on how the department is managed. GAO reported in September 2003 that the effort to design the system was collaborative and consistent with positive elements of transformation. In February, March, and April 2004 we provided preliminary observations on the proposed human capital regulations. Congressional requesters asked GAO to describe the infrastructure necessary for strategic human capital management and to assess the degree to which DHS has that infrastructure in place, which includes an analysis of the progress DHS has made in implementing the recommendations from our September 2003 report. DHS generally agreed with the findings of our report and provided more current information that we incorporated. However, DHS was concerned about our use of results from a governmentwide survey gathered prior to the formation of the department. We use this data because it is the most current information available on the perceptions of employees currently in DHS and helps to illustrate the challenges facing DHS.
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