Task force pushes tech, training

An interagency task force is preparing to submit recommendations to the

White House on how the government can use technology to improve training

opportunities for federal employees.

The President's Task Force on Federal Training Technology headed up

by the Office of Personnel Management has been working to establish a policy

on how agencies can incorporate technology into their training plans. The

task force was formed through an executive order signed by President Clinton

in January 1999.

The task force found that not all federal employees have Internet access,

said E.B. Blanton, executive director of the task force at OPM. That poses

one of the major challenges ahead because the task force is "pushing the

fact that Web-based training is the way to go," he said.

Blanton this month detailed recommendations that the group is likely

to submit to the president in July. The recommendations include:

* Using the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-11 to require

agencies to integrate training goals and measures in the annual budget process.

* Establishing a training technology resource center to serve as a one-stop

shop to promote technology-based training solutions.

* Establishing an innovation fund that would fund agency research and

development and start-up costs for technology-based training initiatives.

The task force and OPM also are looking into the feasibility of offering

individual training accounts for every federal employee, Blanton said. Twelve

agencies are operating 17 pilot programs to test the concept. The first

set of interim reports is due to OPM in early October, he said.

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