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GAO discussed the quality of human resource management in the federal work force. GAO noted that federal agencies: (1) need strong, consistent, high-quality leadership to function effectively; (2) must overcome difficult obstacles such as noncompetitive pay, a poor public image, and an inflexible personnel system; (3) should have fewer political appointees and more frequently reward and recognize the contributions of career employees; and (4) must improve employee recruitment and retention practices, strengthen training and development programs, and enhance employee performance. GAO believes that Congress may wish to consider revitalizing the federal civil service through: (1) legislation regarding federal employee career development; and (2) continually emphasizing its concern for a high-quality work force during confirmation, oversight, and appropriation hearings.

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