Make it better

Change is in the air when it comes to making sure federal employees have the needed information technology training and skills to do their jobs. In a new report, analysts at the Office of Personnel Management reviewed federal IT training programs in terms of competencies described in the Clinger-Cohen Act. And not surprisingly, they found some flaws.

The government's capacity to effectively manage the federal IT workforce would be made easier through a centralized framework, according to the report.

"It is crucial to the success of government that its workforce has the information technology skills necessary to function efficiently," said Kay Coles James, OPM's director. "By continually updating and improving the federal workforce's IT skills, we are ensuring the effectiveness of government operations so critical in this new era."

Work in progress

Build a Web site, and people will come. OPM officials discovered that truism of the electronic age with their job site, www.usajobs.

"The number of users continues to grow, and the site remains one of the most popular government sites on the Internet," James said.

Since OPM officials relaunched the site in August 2003, job seekers have logged more than 77 million visits to the site and created nearly 700,000 online résumés. By comparison, for the first 10 months of fiscal 2003, the USAJobs site logged slightly more than 7 million visitors.

"USAJobs has made finding a job in the federal government easier," James said. "It has helped managers find qualified applicants for vacant positions, and it has made the government more efficient at managing the federal workforce, resulting in saving taxpayers some of their hard-earned money."

One reason for the site's success is that it is a work in progress, James said. In the past year, OPM officials have added two new tools to keep the site lively and useful for visitors. The enhancements include upgrades to make the site easier to read and navigate, streamlined job announcements and highlighted recruitment efforts for homeland security. n

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