Hiring, Management Issues Need Attention, Says GAO

GAO’s latest annual report on overlap, fragmentation and duplication in federal programs highlights several new areas involving federal personnel and general management among the 79 additional issues for Congress, agencies or both to address, including:

* “The Office of Personnel Management and agencies should identify opportunities to refine federal hiring authorities, expand access to specific authorities found to be highly efficient and effective, and eliminate those found to be less effective.”

* “The Office of Management and Budget needs to develop a strategy and additional guidance on the use of the Do Not Pay working system, and Congress should consider amending the Social Security Act to explicitly allow the Social Security Administration to share its full death file through the system to reduce improper payments and mitigate the risks associated with potential duplication.”

* “An increased focus on analyzing agency-wide purchase card use would provide federal agencies with opportunities to leverage the government’s buying power and potentially obtain substantial cost savings on the billions spent annually using purchase cards.”

GAO added that only half of its prior recommendations have been fully addressed and that tens of billions of dollars could be saved by fully implementing the rest.

Among them are: that DoD reevaluate its ongoing headquarters reduction efforts and regularly reassess its workforce needs; that agencies better leverage their buying power through more use of strategic sourcing practices; that agencies better implement PortfolioStat, designed to help agencies manage their IT investments; and that agencies strengthen their oversight of major IT investments in operations and maintenance.