House bill would require manager training at all agencies

Tuesday - 6/15/2010, 4:11pm EDT

By Meg Beasley
Federal News Radio

Legislation proposed in the House of Representatives today would require all agencies to invest significant time and resources in managerial training.

Under the Federal Supervisor Training Act of 2010, H.R. 5522, agencies would have to provide managers and supervisors with "interactive training" within one year of their promotion to be followed by training updates every three years.

Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.) sponsored the legislation. Congressmen Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) were co-sponsors of the bill.

"Proper training is critical to improving delivery of government services, reducing costs associated with mitigating employee grievances, and enhancing morale throughout the entire civil service," said Moran. "Whether it be processing tax returns or providing immigration services, the men and women who comprise the federal workforce need the proper institutional support and management training to do their jobs effectively."

The proposed training would cover basic supervisory training, mentorship training, and training focused on prohibited personnel practices. The Office of Personnel Management would offer guidance and monitor agency implementation of the legislation.

The Senate has proposed similar legislation. In 2008, Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Haw.) introduced S. 674, a measure to strengthen agency supervisor training programs, but the measure failed to reach the Senate floor. A similar bill by Senator Akaka is now expected to be marked-up later this month, according to Congressman Moran's website.

The Federal Managers Association is supportive of the bill. It says as agencies are evolving and growing in complexity, the leaders of those agencies must modernize their skills to effectively manage their workforces.

FMA National President Patricia Niehaus says, "An agency's ability to meet its mission directly correlates to the quality of workforce management."

Meg Beasley is an intern at Federal News Radio.

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