Agencies' people problems
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Jan 21, 2001
Below are some examples of agencies with human capital challenges, according
to the General Accounting Office:
Agriculture Department: Organizational culture problems, including resistance
from USDA agencies and employees, have hampered departmentwide reorganization
and modernization efforts.
Commerce Department: A lack of experienced staff with the right expertise
limits the ability of Commerce and two other trade agencies to monitor and
enforce trade agreements.
Defense Department: The services face shortages among junior officers
and problems in retaining intelligence analysts, computer programmers and
pilots. On the civilian side, imbalances in skills and experience following
downsizing are jeopardizing acquisitions and logistics capabilities.
Energy Department: Headquarters and field staff have lacked contract
management skills to oversee large projects, such as the cleanup of radioactive
and hazardous waste sites.
Environmental Protection Agency: EPA has not implemented any systematic
means of determining the right size, skills or deployment of staff to carry
out its mission, despite the demand for new skills due to technological
changes and the shift in EPA's regional environmental responsibilities to
the states, as well as growing retirement eligibilities in its workforce.
Federal Aviation Administration: Air traffic control modernization is
fraught with cost, schedule and performance problems due in part to an organizational
culture that impaired the acquisition process.
Health Care Financing Administration: The mismatch between HCFA's administrative
capacity and its mandate could leave Medicare unprepared to handle future
population growth and medical technology advances.
Internal Revenue Service: IRS lacks reliable cost and operational information
to measure the effectiveness of its tax collection and enforcement programs
and to judge whether it is appropriately allocating its staff resources
among competing management priorities.
Social Security Administration: An increasing demand for services, the
imminent retirement of a large part of its workforce, changing customer
expectations and mixed success in past technology investments will challenge
SSA's ability to meet its service delivery demands.
State Department: Efforts to determine the right size and composition
of overseas posts have begun, but State faces challenges in aligning its
workforce with new economic, political, security and technological requirements.
For the complete list, go to the GAO report, "Major Management Challenges and Program Risks," and click on Appendix I.