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OPM responds to new HR survey

By Ed O'Keefe

A new survey of the government's top human resources officials reveals some concerns they have with the Office of Personnel Management, which handles federal HR issues.

The survey -- scooped today by colleague Joe Davidson -- gives good reviews to OPM Director John Berry but a mediocre assessment to the rest of the agency.

The government's HR bosses -- known as Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO), or "chicos" for short -- feel some tension "over OPM's aggressive reform agenda that is straining the resources of some agencies. CHCOs also believe there is a disconnect between what OPM's leadership says and what some of the career OPM staff do," the report said.

Kathryn Medina, executive director of the CHCO Council, responded to those charges in an e-mail sent to us last night by OPM after deadline. (OPM often struggles to meet reporter deadlines -- another example of where the agency may sometimes drop the ball.)

"It's not surprising that if you ask an entire community of practice across the federal government their opinions on ANY topic, that you will get a wide range of responses -- both positive and negative," Medina said. "I think the report would have been more helpful if it had separated CHCO and non-CHCO responses. CHCOs and leaders in general understand the strategic nature of what is going on with hiring reform and other OPM initiatives."

CHCOs are generally positive and supportive of OPM's reform efforts, Medina said. "Past comments and criticisms have been taken seriously and have been responded to promptly, leading to a more cooperative, productive and collegial environment for members."

She cited collaboration on a new HR University, veterans hiring efforts and efforts to improve HR technology across the government as examples of where CHCOs are working well with OPM.

Agree or disagree? Will the hiring reforms work and will the changes be ready in time? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

By Ed O'Keefe  | August 18, 2010; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Comments

This is the part of government that always struggle. Lots of changes adn public announcements that those changes are occurring but somehow, it never really makes it down to the masses (in this case, HR personnel). I am not an HR person, but all I can say about HR across the board is, what exactly do they do? I USED to know what they did..which was inprocess, out process, assist with your benefits (health, survival benes, retirement options, rules of govt, etc) Now? When I have a questions, I am directed to a website. I do it all myself. No professional opinion or assistance. Point in case, I am a veteran. Now when you come in to the fed gov and are a vet, and along the application for employment/hiring, you submit your DD214. What do you think HR does with that DD214? What SHOULD be the several line items of requirements HR should do when they see that DD214? Well, about all they do is verify my point preference. In my case, what they didnt do was ensure my total time applied to leave category-in this case I did ten years, so I should have been receiving 6 hrs per period. They didnt catch that-I did. The other HUGE oversight is buy in for retirement. After being in the fed gov for 9 yrs (and having served 10 yrs of service), HR totally missed this HUGE important financially impacted oversight. I now have to pay back THOUSANDS for my retirement to work out correctly. Thank god I want to a mid-term retirement, otherwise the cost would have been most likely over double. With that oversight, I (not the agency for their lack of oversight) had to pay penalties. I got penalized for something I knew NOTHING about until I went to that seminar this year. The problem is, there are too many changed and not enough personnel. It all looks good on paper..but OPM Execs need to step outside their plush offices and go out in teh HR fields and see how they are truly managing or not. Thanls to the Repubs (Bush) HR staffing dwindled-just like contracting officing staff. You cant function well if you are so overwhelmed. Thats why there are overpayments, lack of oversight-all because they dont have time. Do more with less works only when errors occur and there isnt some sort of long term loss on the other end. You cant run govt this way

Posted by: IGotLotsToSay | August 19, 2010 4:28 AM | Report abuse

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