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Highlights

Effective human capital planning can enable the Department of Defense (DOD) to have the right people, with the right skills, doing the right jobs, in the right places, at the right time by making flexible use of its internal workforce and appropriately using contractors. According to the department, as of March 2010, DOD's total civilian workforce included about 718,000 full-time civilians, including more than 2,900 civilians in the senior management, functional, and technical personnel workforce (hereafter referred to as senior leader workforce). Further, DOD reported that, as of the end of September 2009, there were more than 118,000 civilians in DOD's acquisition workforce. DOD has acknowledged, however, that with approximately 30 percent of its workforce eligible to retire by March 31, 2015, and the need to reduce its reliance on contractors to augment the current workforce, it faces a number of significant challenges. For example, in its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), DOD stressed the need for leadership in human capital management, to improve its capabilities for contributing to civilian-led activities and operations supporting "unity of effort" in homeland security, and an appropriately sized cadre of acquisition personnel who have the skills and training necessary to successfully perform their jobs. In that regard, the 2010 QDR stressed the importance of involving senior leadership in human capital management and also stated that DOD must (1) align its resources to establish a balanced total workforce, (2) possess an up-to-date human capital strategy, and (3) continue developing programs to recruit, shape, and sustain the force it needs. DOD's 2009 strategic workforce plan states that in April 2009, the Secretary of Defense announced his intention to rebalance and rightsize the acquisition workforce by adding 20,000 personnel by fiscal year 2015--including 10,000 new hires and an additional 10,000 employees as a result of in-sourcing work that had been previously performed by contractors. Most recently, in August 2010, the Secretary of Defense announced initiatives to reduce duplication, overhead, and excess and instill a culture of savings and restraint across DOD that could affect DOD's civilian workforce planning efforts. These initiatives included reducing the funding available for service support contractors, freezing the number of DOD civilian senior executives and flag officers at the fiscal year 2010 level, and at a minimum, reducing the number of Senior Executive Service members by 150 over the next 2 years. Strategic workforce planning--an integral part of human capital management--helps organizations to determine if they have staff with the necessary skills and competencies to accomplish their strategic goals. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 required us to review and report on DOD's workforce plans for 2009 through 2012 no later than 180 days after DOD's submissions. On March 31, 2010, DOD submitted its 2009 update to the human capital strategic plan, which was intended to address the requirements of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (FY 2006 NDAA). Our objectives were to determine the extent to which DOD's strategic workforce plan addresses the FY 2010 NDAA requirements applicable to (1) the overall civilian workforce, (2) the senior leader workforce, and (3) the acquisition workforce. In our analysis and reporting, we identify the new requirements contained in the FY 2010 NDAA.

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