Workforce reforms in store

Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) is crafting legislation that would reform human capital management — or people management — in government.

In a letter sent earlier this month to numerous unions, public-policy think tanks and professional associations, Voinovich asked for suggestions on what legislative changes are needed to reform inadequate federal workforce management.

Voinovich asked the stakeholders for "any proposals for legislation that you might offer on such issues as training, compensation, performance management, incentives and other benefits." The legislation would be based on Voinovich's December recommendations to the Bush administration on the crisis in human capital, his spokeswoman said.

Voinovich plans to move forward in an "expeditious manner," but did not say when he would introduce a bill.

In January, the General Accounting Office placed strategic human capital management on its high-risk list reserved for programs that are being mismanaged or ignored.

Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, a professional association for senior career federal executives, said the group is taking this opportunity to "raise a whole series of recommendations which we have developed recently and over the years that we think are still worth considering."

A major concern is pay, Bonosaro said, particularly for those in the Senior Executive Service, where 60 percent of all executives earn the same salary. There are two ways to deal with the pay issue, she said: implement a substantial increase through the executive schedule, "which we think is merited but unlikely," or raise the current salary cap.

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