In what it called its first-ever report of its kind on priorities for the federal workforce, OPM has said that shortages of employees and inadequate training of those who are present are taking a toll on workers and on the services they provide to the public.
Programs red-flagged by the GAO and agency IGs commonly suffer from short-staffing, a lack of needed skills and inadequate training and development of employees, OPM said. “Gaps in staffing levels were hampering agency performance or placing performance at risk as well as causing stress for overworked employees. Impacted missions and services included those related to public safety, health care, real estate, business ventures, citizen and veteran benefits, law enforcement, and federal revenue and cost control activities,’’ the report said.
Further, “inadequate training left employees within certain agency functions and departments without important job skills and knowledge. For example, some jobs had no formal training or certification programs in place. When train¬ing was provided, it was sometimes incomplete or irrelevant, inadequately addressing certain duties or focusing on skills and procedures not critical to the work being done.”
Budgetary restrictions are partly to blame for both under-staffing and under-training, it said, but agencies also are falling short in identifying how many employees and what skills they need.