GAO stresses human factor
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- Mar 09, 2000
Without the proper tools to assess, attract, train and manage the federal
work force, "human capital systems" likely will earn the General Accounting
Office's high-risk designation in 2001, U.S. Comptroller General David Walker
told a Senate subcommittee Thursday.
Serious concerns are emerging about the aging of the federal work force,
the rise in retirement eligibilities and the actions needed to ensure effective
succession planning, Walker said in testimony before the Senate Governmental
Affairs Committee's Oversight of Government Management, Restructuring and
the District of Columbia Subcommittee.
Three keys to performance are process, technology and people, Walker
said. Legislation has addressed process with the Government Performance
and Results Act and technology with the Paperwork Reduction Act and Clinger-Cohen
Act. But the people dimension has not been addressed, Walker said.
"People will be the key to obtaining and maintaining competitive advantage
in any enterprise," Walker said.
GAO is specifically concerned with the lack of information technology
skills in government. "One of the principal strategies that agencies have
used to deliver services with fewer staff has been an increased reliance
on information technology," Walker said in written testimony. "However,
the agencies' ability to make the most of this strategy could be jeopardized
by the competitive disadvantage they report facing in hiring and retaining
skilled information technology staff."