CHCO Council rallies around USAJobs

Wednesday - 11/9/2011, 3:40pm EST

Emily Kopp, reporter, Federal News Radio

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Agency chief human capital officers showed support for the latest version of USAJobs.gov, the federal jobs website that has been deluged with user complaints since it launched last month.

Despite what the Office of Personnel Management called a "rocky start," the HR officers said they were pleased with the progress in fixing technical issues. They met Tuesday for the annual public meeting of the CHCO Council. The council had chosen to have OPM take control of the site from a contractor, Monster Government Solutions. The agency has hosted phone calls as frequently as twice a day to update members.

"This was a team effort from the beginning," said OPM Director John Berry, who thanked the officers for their support. He said they made the "right call" in choosing to take USAJobs in house for security purposes. OPM said no agency had reported problems in using the site. User complaints to the USAJobs helpdesk have decreased to 1,200 per week from a high of 3,000 during the week of its launch on Oct. 11.

"They're working around the clock and I think their metrics are telling," said Pat Tamburrino, the Department of Defense's deputy assistant secretary for civilian personnel policy. "Right now, we're cranking along well." He said he had no regrets about the council's decision.

The council also discussed an upcoming strategy for improving diversity at all ranks of the federal workforce. President Barack Obama has tasked OPM, the Office of Management and Budget, the President's Management Council and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with developing this plan by next week.

While it will not set quotas for agencies to meet, Sharon Wong, special assistant to the director of OPM's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, told the council that the strategy would include measurements meant to set a "minimum baseline" without being "prescriptive."

The Department of Justice civil rights division is reviewing the strategy.

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