Akaka offers federal training bill

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) has introduced legislation to require upgraded and continuous management training at all agencies for federal supervisors.

The Federal Supervisor Training Act of 2009 would require agencies to provide all managers with regular training on management skills, prohibited personnel practices, employee rights and general leadership, said Akaka, who introduced the bill March 24. He offered similar legislation last year. Akaka is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia Subcommittee.

“The performance of our federal employees and managers is essential to the success of our government. We will do well to invest in them through training and professional development,” Akaka said. “Good leadership begins with strong management training,” he said.

Under the legislation, federal supervisors would receive:

  • Training in the first year on the job, with mandatory retraining every three years on how to work with employees to develop performance expectations and evaluate employees. Current managers would have three years to obtain their initial training.
  • Mentoring and training for them on how to mentor employees
  • Training on the laws and the procedures for enforcing rights under laws that cover whistle-blowers, collective bargaining and anti-discrimination.

The bill would also set the standards that supervisors should meet to manage employees effectively and the supervisors would be assessed on meeting those standards, Akaka said.

“It is time to ensure that federal managers receive appropriate training to supervise federal employees,” he said. Agencies often cut training when limited resources force them to cut programs, he said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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