Attracting and keeping highly qualified employees, what GAO calls strategic human capital management, remains on GAO’s list of high-risk government challenges, with shortages of employees in several crucial occupations and the growing number of current employees coming up on retirement eligibility continuing to be areas of particular concern. It said “skills gaps” remain in some two dozen areas, including cybersecurity, telecommunications, acquisitions management, safety inspection and financial management. OPM and individual agencies are taking steps to address those issues but they still need to develop clear and measurable goals and to design and follow specific action plans, according to the latest report. The task will be all the more challenging, it added, because 30.1 percent of career permanent employees will be eligible to retire by 2018, with especially high eligibility rates at HUD, SSA, Transportation, EPA, Interior and Treasury. GAO puts out similar reports every other year; personnel management has been designated a high risk every time since 2001.
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