Issues Faced by the Federal Workforce

March 31, 2007 – 10:49 am

OPM Director Springer Testifies Before House Appropriations Subcommittee and Discusses Issues Faced by the Federal WorkforceWashington, DCU.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Linda M. Springer testified today before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. The focus of her testimony was on the many issues OPM’s workforce – and the federal workforce – will face during the coming year.”OPM’s responsibilities include every aspect of ensuring the federal government has an effective civilian workforce – from background investigations, recruitment, hiring, training and succession planning to personnel policy design, development and oversight, compensation, employee benefits and retirement administration,” said Springer.Looking toward 2008, Springer said “one of her highest priorities has been, and continues to be, to modernize the way we calculate and process federal retirement payments.”This is of particular interest to Springer because it recognizes the changing demographics of the federal workforce, with roughly 60 percent of the federal workforce expected to be eligible for retirement over the next 10 years.Additionally, Springer, who is the principal advisor to the President on personnel management issues for the 1.8 million employees in the federal civilian workforce, noted that OPM designs, develops and oversees the implementation of human-capital strategies across the federal government, including:- Setting the recruiting, selection, development, and compensation guidance for federal executives and other civil service employees;- Designing and overseeing the operation of the website, which averages 20,000 job vacancies daily, has 1.9 million resumes on file and sends over 260,000 emails daily to job seekers;- Certifying performance appraisal systems for over 7,000 members of the Senior Executive Service;- Managing the world’s largest (8 million people) single employer-sponsored health insurance plan in the world;- Conducting 90 percent (1.8 million) of all background investigative services for the federal government;- Providing training for over 13,000 people yearly at the Federal Executive Institute and Management Development Centers; and- Administering retirement benefits for all three branches of the federal government.Included in the achievements Springer discussed was the launch of new dental and vision insurance programs that were chosen by over 700,000 enrollees; career counseling to 1,000 military and family members at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center; the issuance of new pandemic telework guidance and personnel guidance; making payments of $60 billion in retirement and life insurance benefits; and, the opening of a new veterans’ career counseling center at the Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas.In addition, OPM introduced the Career Patterns Initiative – a 21st century approach to recruiting talent; and for the first time ever, OPM designed, produced, and placed televised federal job recruitment ads featuring actual federal employees in 10 media markets across the country.In closing, Springer said: “OPM is committed to exploring various ways to maintain the federal government’s competitive position as it seeks candidates for federal service in an increasingly competitive market for talent. And while I have only highlighted a small portion of the important work that is being done at OPM, I look forward to continuing to strengthen the federal workforce. I am certain we can do what is necessary to provide the resources and guidance that will enable every federal agency to have the workforce it needs to accomplish its mission.”

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