Voinovich: hiring reforms will take an act of law

Congress remains serious about federal hiring reform, and about telework. Senator George Voinovich weighs in with the legislative outlook.

By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor

The Office of Personnel Management has its hiring reforms and its Telework Initiative.

Senator George Voinovich (R-Oh.) told Federal News Radio that the only way hiring reforms will work is if they’re made into law, not just an executive memorandum.

“It will take a very major effort to see these changes that we’re recommending both in the hiring and also in terms of the teleworking,” said Voinovich.

Given the amount of work involved, speed, or a lack of it, might be expected to be an issue too. “Well that’s one of the reasons we want it statutory,” Voinovich laughed.

The laws would be a double edged sword for hiring managers, admitted Voinovich. On one side, he said the proposals would ensure that “managers would be really engaged in all the critical parts of the hiring process.”

And on the other side?

They’ve got to do some things that they’re not doing today. One of the things that Dan (co-sponsor Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii)) and I have insisted on has been plain writing in job postings and agencies must ensure that job announcements are clear, concise, well organized and follow best practices that any business would use in accordance with guidance that comes from OMB.

Best practices are at the heart of Voinovich’s vision for telework as well.

The need for telework is clear, said Voinovich, in increased productivity, reduction in costs, and as a recruitment tool.

It’s got to be a part of the smörgåsbord of things that you offer people who want to come to work for the federal government. We have to understand that the labor market is changing and we ought not to be the last ones to respond to the changes.

Voinovich told the Federal Drive he hopes agencies would share best practices and lessons learned as they implement the new policies through the CHCO council.

He said another reason the policies should become law is to become a legacy. “This ought to be put into statutes so that it continues throughout this administration and also into the next administrations.”

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