12:18 pm, July 10, 2014

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  • OPM report on agencies' use of the "3Rs" during CY 2009
    Reading the report itself on the OPM webpage raises some troubling questions. While it mentions that a number of reporting agencies indicated less usage than in the previous reporting year, CY 2008, there were still significant overall increases in all three of the incentives, bith in terms of absolute numbers as well as average monetary amount of each. In particular, the 9% increase in use of recruitment incentives, coupled with the 22% increase in the average amount paid to awardees in this category seemed highly questionable, especially as half of the 12,402 such incentives went to new entry-level employees. At a time when overall unemployment rates were soaring, and the government was virtually the only major employer with significant hiring activity, the rationale for the expanded use of such incentives appears weak at best; indeed, it's intuitive that there should have been a sizable decrease, as most Federal agencies were then being increasingly swamped with well-qualified applicants for most vacancies due to the poor labor market conditions. This betokens serious questions regarding the lack of accountability in using agencies' hiring programs, as the need for use of hiring incentives was tenuous overall at best. The same troubling phenomenon was noticed when OPM came out last August with its report on agencies' use of student loan repayments as recruitment/retention tools for CY 2009, which showed a similar dramatic escalation in usage during the same time frame when the national labor market should have operated to reduce significantly agencies' need for such expensive incentives. The apparent lack of accountability is glaring, and should occasion remedial steps. To its (very belated) credit, OPM seems to recognize this - without admitting that any problem exists, however - and mentions several initiatives underway to strenghten program administration. Better late than ... later.
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  • Lose-Lose, A micocosm of Federal Employment these days
    This story and comment are case in point that federal employees and employment are in a no win situation. In this case, the incentives and need to pare the federal workforce have to be balanced with the realities of increasing diversity in the federal workforce and the educational composition/requirements of the federal workforce. How many of these incentives are going to recruit the best and brightest minorities? Also, the unemployment rate among those with a college degree is much lower than the general population and such workers are harder to recruit and retrain. Basically, the federal government can fail its social responsibilities (diversity hiring -- regardless of what one thinks of it), suffer from a brain drain, or be seen as fiscally irresponsible as it pays for these recruitment and retention bonuses. Yet, for the most part, the Administration does nothing to defend itself and reacts by giving all comers legitimacy. Then the same officials turn around and say the federal government needs to do more to promote and increase diversity and retention! If a human brain could suffer from the blue screen of death, I think it would show up here!
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }