Federal Manager's Daily Report

An IG report has added hiring and keeping employees with needed skills as a management challenge facing the Chemical Safety Board, while removing three prior issues–including one to take steps to address employee morale–from the list because the Board has taken corrective actions.

The report said that the Board, an arm of the EPA, is experiencing difficulties in “attracting and keeping the right mix of technical staff” and providing needed training, particularly to technical staff.

It said physical science personnel “are in demand and difficult to attract because such candidates can make much more money in the private sector.” And while the agency can pay retention incentives to current employees, “given budget constraints, the ability to provide such incentives is limited.”

It said the Board needs to continue working to carry out recommendations in a 2015 report from OPM that it: create a workforce plan to identify and document competencies for mission-critical occupations, as well as strategies to close the gaps; establish a hiring plan to ensure investigative teams are established with the competencies and specializations needed; and conduct an organizational-based competency assessment to identify gaps to be addressed through training.