Feds get started

Although federal organizations are not deploying large-scale employee relationship management systems, several agencies are using ERM technology to boost employee training and save money.

The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, for example, is using Oracle Corp.'s 11i eBusiness suite to build its Navfac Employee Assessment and Development System (NEADS). Currently being deployed, the system will allow employees to keep records of their skills' growth and assess their progress in meeting career objectives, said Jackie Hayes, project officer of NEADS.

They can also see how those personal assessments compare to expectations set by Navfac. That will give personnel "a map of requirements for their particular career field" and an assessment of what they need to do to meet those requirements, Hayes said.

The system will eventually be able to direct employees to courses that will help them develop the necessary skills.

Training is only one of the functions the Interior Department's National Business Center (NBC) seeks from SAP AG's offerings in this area.

"We plan to take advantage of as much employee self-service as possible," said Tim Vigotsky, NBC director. The goal is to eliminate labor-intensive human resources transactions, such as retrieving employee benefit information.

For the past two years, the organization has had essentially a reciprocal arrangement with SAP — NBC experimented with the technology while SAP used the experience at Interior to tailor its product to the federal market.

In the past few months, the department decided to officially deploy the technologies, beginning with about 1,000 employees at NBC. That count will eventually reach the 200,000 people for whom NBC provides payroll services.

When the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS) is put in place, service members will have direct access to and greater control over their personnel records via the Web, said Capt. Valerie Carpenter, director of DIMHRS' Joint Program Management Office at the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.

"They will be able make changes to their records without having to leave their duty station or even their homes to go to a personnel servicing center," she said, adding that personnel abroad will be able to update their records on-site instead of doing it by mail.

The first phase of DIMHRS is being developed on the PeopleSoft Inc. 8 platform under a $6.5 million contract awarded to the software vendor in March 2001.

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