GAO: DOD skills analysis needed

Military leaders can't plan for their future workforce without knowing the skills of the current one, auditors say.

DOD Civilian personnel: Comprehensive Strategic Workforce Plans Needed

The Defense Department lacks a comprehensive method for collecting data on civilian workers to identify potential skill gaps, according to a report from the General Accounting Office.

Without an analysis of DOD employees' skills, military officials can't develop a strategy to hire, retain and train its future workforce.

"The major challenge that DOD and most of the components face in their efforts to develop and implement strategic workforce plans is their need for information on current competencies and those that will likely be needed in the future," the report states. "This problem results from DOD's and the components [the Defense Logistics Agency and the military services] not having developed tools to collect and/or store and manage data on workforce competencies."

Military officials need such data to gauge the effectiveness of efforts to ensure that workers will have the competencies to accomplish future missions, the report states.

GAO recommends that DOD officials:

Analyze and document the gaps between current critical skills and competencies and those needed by future workers.

Develop strategies to fill the identified gaps in skills and competency.

Establish results-oriented performance measures to use in evaluating workforce planning efforts.

DOD officials did not submit a written response to GAO's recommendations. However, they partially concurred with the first two recommendations and completely agreed with the third.

Officials said they have begun an analysis of its skill gaps, but GAO auditors were unable to verify the claim because they received no documentation.

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