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The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the Senior Executive Service Accountability Act that, if approved by the full House, the Senate and the President, would significantly change conditions of employment for members of the Senior Executive Service. But, is it a good bill, asks former DHS CHCO Jeff Neal.
Debra Roth will host a roundtable discussion of Senior Executive Service reform. July 25, 2014
The Social Security Administration says its new $300 million IT system still doesn't work. SSA wants to replace outdated computer systems that contribute to its backlog of disability claims. The agency says outside consultants will try to get the project back on track, but it still has no idea when it will be ready to launch. Jeff Neal is senior VP of ICF International and former chief human capital officer at the Department of Homeland Security. He's tells Francis Rose on In Depth that it's not just IT projects, but all types of federal contracts that can be where good ideas go to die.
An unresponsive, or sclerotic contracting system is not a good fit for our fast-paced information world, says Jeff Neal, former chief human capital officer at the Department of Homeland Security.
Although resignations are up among under-30 feds, the bigger problem is hiring, says Jeff Neal, former chief human capital officer at the Department of Homeland Security.
The lack of 30-and-under talent in the federal workforce means agencies will be facing significant shortfalls in the future, says Jeff Neal, former chief human capital officer at the Department of Homeland Security.
A lot of people are saying that the relentless wave of retirements is a threat to the health of the federal workforce. But there's a problem on the other end of the age spectrum too -- OPM data shows there's been a sharp drop in the number of federal employees under the age of 30 over the last few years. As of last year, those younger workers made up just 8 percent of the workforce. Jeff Neal is senior vice president of ICF International and former chief human capital officer at the Department of Homeland Security. He explained the numbers behind the issue on In Depth with Francis Rose.
Despite a series of efforts to expand the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender federal workers by the Obama administration, LGBT feds, who comprise about 3 percent of the federal workforce, are less satisfied, feel less empowered on the job and are less likely to rate their agency's senior leaders and management as highly as their non-LGBT counterparts, according to a recent survey.
The Homeland Security Department fires more of its employees than any other agency. Last year DHS dropped almost 1 percent of its workforce. The Federal Times reports the government-wide average is about half that. Jeff Neal is senior vice president of ICF International and former Chief Human Capital Officer at the Department of Homeland Security. He tells In Depth with Francis Rose those numbers might sound low, but they're actually pretty normal for the federal government. Read Neal's related column.
The Veterans Affairs Department recently revealed that none of its senior executives had gotten a rating below fully successful in the past four years. While that may seem shocking, the VA is not that out of the ordinary. Sub-par ratings for SES members are not common and firing them is even less common, says former CHCO Jeff Neal.
They may have the best of intentions, but people who have not spent time working within the bureaucracy rarely understand the complexities of changing government, particularly in this era of partisanship, says former DHS CHCO Jeff Neal.
On its surface, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014 is simple, but its simplicity belies the risks it presents for VA employees, former DHS CHCO Jeff Neal says.
HR 4031 waits for a vote in the Senate after the House passed it last week. It would give the secretary of Veterans Affairs the power to fire senior executive service members for performance issues. Jeff Neal, senior vice president of ICF International and former chief human capital officer at the Department of Homeland Security, says the simple language of the bill could turn into a huge headache for the entire department.
It's clear that the Senior Executive Service never became what its creators envisioned, says former DHS CHCO Jeff Neal. But in many respects, some of those hopes for the executive corps were never realistic to begin with.