To address the challenges that the nation faces, it will be important for federal agencies to change their cultures and create the institutional capacity to become high-performing organizations. This includes recruiting and retaining a federal workforce able to create, sustain, and thrive in organizations that are flatter, results-oriented, and externally focused. In 2001, GAO identified strategic human capital management as a governmentwide high-risk area because federal agencies lacked a strategic approach to human capital management that integrated human capital efforts with their missions and program goals. Although progress has been made since that time, strategic human capital management still remains a high-risk area. This testimony, based on a large body of completed work issued from January 2001 through April 2008, focuses on (1) challenges that federal agencies have faced in recruiting and hiring talented employees, (2) progress in addressing these challenges, and (3) additional actions that are needed to strengthen recruiting and hiring efforts. In its prior reports, GAO has made a range of recommendations to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)--the government's personnel agency--and to agencies in such areas as hiring, workforce planning, and diversity management; a number of these recommendations have since been implemented. GAO is making no new recommendations at this time.
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