Federal Manager's Daily Report

The common government-wide issues of staffing for IT positions extend to the Secret Service, GAO has said, although it has at least partially carried out many best practices to address skills gaps and better plan for that workforce.

The agency “relies heavily on the use of IT infrastructure and systems,” a report said, but until it fully implements such practices for its IT workforce, “it may be limited in its ability to ensure the timely and effective acquisition and maintenance” of IT infrastructure and services.

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It said the Secret Service has only minimally implemented improvements in strategic planning, recruitment and hiring, and training and development. For example, it found that while the CIO’s office has defined general core competencies for its workforce, it hasn’t identified all of the technical competencies needed, making it “limited in its ability to address any IT competency gaps that may exist.”

However, it has substantially implemented employee morale practices for its IT staff, including identifying the root causes and establishing and tracking metrics to measure improvement, GAO said. But it said that the agency still needs to show management commitment to ensure continued progress.

GAO also said that the Secret Service has substantially implemented improvements in performance management, including by better defining expectations, aligning them with agency goals and providing employees with regular feedback.