Elaine Duke, Principal, Elaine Duke and Associates

Turning the calendar to 2015 has some federal leaders thinking more about the year 2020, specifically what the federal workforce looks like in five years. A lot of the focus has been on recruitment in the past few years. Elaine Duke is principal at Elaine Duke and Associates. She’s former Under Secretary for Management at the Department of Homeland Security. She shared her Top 3 for 2015 on In Depth with Francis Rose. She says retention could be the big challenge for the new year.

Elaine Duke’s Top 3 for 2015

  1. The federal government is regressing, not progressing in personnel management.
    • Recruiting and hiring methods have remained constant, while the current generation has progressed in its job search methods (including perception of timely feedback, online applications), so the gap has widened.
    • It has not factored in the end of CSRS retirement system into its retention and workforce management strategies.
    • Over politicization on non-political issues have widened the gap between political appointees and senior career workforce.
    • Public service is not valued or supported by the executive or legislative branches.
  2. Business processes, including budget and contract strategies, related to IT acquisition, must evolve dramatically to keep up with demand for currency and efficiency.
    • The President’s 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology recognizes the need for budgeting and contracting to evolve to support the technology plan, but no action has been taken to do this.
    • We cannot be nimble and quick in IT with current business processes. Dramatic change must happen to keep the U.S. at the forefront of information technology.
    • This is especially important when we are expecting private sector investment in IT, such as a secure cloud or public safety networks. Risk must be managed through strategies to provide incentives for that private sector investment.
  3. We need to once again accept that decisions have consequences and renew accountability at all levels.
    • We have evolved into an oversight mentality. Departments have to work within the constraints they are given. Later, they are judged without consideration for those constraints.
    • Examples include the inefficiencies with operating on a continuing resolution, the cost of “fast” solution — getting a politically driven agenda done quickly costs more than a slower rollout — and is more likely to have performance issues.
    • We need to start having more analytical analyses of alternatives and tradeoffs to make decisions consciously, then judge how well things were executed based on those rules and decisions, not a new set.

In our special radio report, Top 3 for 2015, federal experts tell In Depth host Francis Rose what top three concepts, trends or priorities they believe will be important in 2015.

Comments