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Human Capital: Diversity in the Federal SES and Processes for Selecting New Executives

GAO-09-110 Published: Nov 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Nov 26, 2008.
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A diverse Senior Executive Service (SES), which generally represents the most experienced segment of the federal workforce, can be an organizational strength by bringing a wider variety of perspectives and approaches to policy development and implementation, strategic planning, problem solving, and decision making. In a January 2003 report (GAO-03-34), GAO provided data on career SES members by race, ethnicity, and gender as of October 2000 and a statistically estimated projection of what the profile of the SES would be in October 2007 if appointment and separation trends did not change. In response to a request for updated information on the diversity in the SES, GAO is providing information from the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Central Personnel Data File (1) on the representation of women and minorities in the SES and the SES developmental pool (i.e., GS-15 and GS-14 positions) for the executive branch as of fiscal year 2007 and comparing this representation to fiscal year 2000 levels and to levels GAO projected for October 2007 in its 2003 report; (2) for fiscal years 2000 and 2007, the average age at which women and minorities were appointed to and retired from the SES as well as information on those in the SES reporting targeted disabilities; and (3) on the overall processes used in executive branch agencies for selecting and certifying members into the SES.

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