Skip to Highlights
Highlights

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)--an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)--has experienced an expanding workload due to emerging health threats, such as bioterrorism. Strategic planning helps agencies like CDC sustain a workforce with the necessary education, skills, and competencies--human capital--to fulfill their missions. In September 2007, CDC released its Strategic Human Capital Management Plan (CDC Plan). GAO was asked to review CDC's human capital planning. GAO determined (1) whether the CDC Plan was designed to address the human capital challenges CDC faces; (2) the extent to which the CDC Plan is strategically aligned with agency goals, plans, and budget; and (3) the extent to which CDC incorporated GAO's principles for strategic human capital planning. To do so, GAO interviewed officials and analyzed data and documents.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention To improve CDC's ability to use its human capital planning efforts to meet its current and future needs for a skilled workforce, the Director of CDC should incorporate strategies that address the challenge of managing a workforce with a large and growing number of contractors into future updates of the CDC Plan.
Closed - Implemented
In a May 2008 report, we found that the strategies in CDC's Strategic Human Capital Plan did not address one of the six challenges we identified that CDC faces in sustaining a skilled workforce, specifically, the difficulties presented by managing a workforce with an increasing number of contractors. Contractors make up more than one-third of CDC's workforce. To improve CDC's ability to use its human capital planning efforts to meet its current and future needs for a skilled workforce, we recommended that CDC incorporate strategies that address the challenge of managing a workforce with a large and growing number of contractors into future updates of its Strategic Human Capital Plan. In response to our recommendation, in September 2008, CDC updated its Strategic Human Capital Plan to establish an initiative to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies to address the management of contractors as part of the agency?s blended workforce. The strategies CDC outlined include capturing, analyzing, and monitoring the contractor component of the agency?s workforce and revising the scope of the fiscal year 2008 workforce analysis methodology to include contractors. These actions can help guide the agency in improving the management of its entire human capital to effectively and efficiently meet its expanding scope of work and responsibilities, and also help ensure the appropriate use and oversight of its contractors. In addition, the Plan indicated that the Procurement and Grants Office began training in FY 2008 to educate CDC Project Officers on the rules and regulations for administering and monitoring contracts. CDC?s Management Council has also begun a Blended Workforce Workgroup to assess blended workforce issues and develop next steps.

Full Report