oversight

The Results Act: Observations on OPM's May 1997 Draft Strategic Plan

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-07-11.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                     United States
GAO                  General Accounting Office
                     Washington, D.C. 20548

                     General Government Division

                     B-277421

                     July 11, 1997

                     The Honorable Richard K. Armey
                     Majority Leader
                     House of Representatives

                     The Honorable John Kasich
                     Chairman
                     Committee on the Budget
                     House of Representatives

                     The Honorable Dan Burton
                     Chairman
                     Committee on Government Reform
                       and Oversight
                     House of Representatives

                     The Honorable Bob Livingston
                     Chairman
                     Committee on Appropriations
                     House of Representatives

                     Subject: The Results Act: Observations on OPM’s May 1997 Draft Strategic
                     Plan

                     On June 12, 1997, you asked us to review the draft strategic plans
                     submitted by cabinet departments and selected major agencies for
                     consultation with Congress as required by the Government Performance
                     and Results Act of 1993 (the Results Act). This letter is our response to
                     that request concerning the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).


                     Our overall objective was to review and evaluate OPM’s draft strategic plan.
Objectives, Scope,   As you requested, we specifically (1) determined if the draft strategic plan
and Methodology      contained each of the six components required by the Results Act and
                     assessed




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the components’ strengths and weaknesses,1 (2) determined whether OPM’s
key statutory authorities were reflected, (3) identified whether discussions
about crosscutting functions and interagency coordination were included,
(4) determined if the draft plan addressed major management challenges,
and (5) described OPM’s capacity to provide reliable information about
operations and performance.

We reviewed the OPM draft strategic plan dated May 14, 1997, which was
the most recent draft available. The House staff team that is assigned to
consult with OPM on the strategic plan used this draft to begin the
consultation process with OPM envisioned by the Results Act. On the basis
of that consultation, OPM officials said that they would be revising the draft
plan we had available for this review.

Our overall assessment of OPM’s draft strategic plan was generally based
on our knowledge of OPM’s operations and programs, our numerous
reviews of OPM and federal workforce issues, a recently issued report on
OPM’s fiscal year 1996 financial audit by an independent public accountant,
and other existing information available at the time of our assessment.
Specifically, the criteria we used to determine whether OPM’s draft
strategic plan complied with the requirements of the Results Act were the
Results Act, supplemented by Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
guidance on developing the plans (Circular A-11, Part 2). To make
judgments about the strengths and weaknesses of the plan and its
components, we used our May 1997 guidance for congressional review of
the plans (GAO/GGD-10.1.16) as a tool. To determine whether the plan
contained information on interagency coordination and addressed
management problems, we relied on our general knowledge of OPM’s
operations and programs and on our previous reports (see Related GAO
Products). As you requested, we coordinated our work on OPM’s key
statutory authorities and OPM’s capacity to provide reliable information
with the Congressional Research Service and the OPM Inspector General’s
Office (OIG), respectively.

We did not interview OPM officials but did attend the initial consultation
session between House consulting team members and officials from OPM.

1
 The Results Act specifies that agencies’ strategic plans should have these critical components: (1) a
comprehensive agency mission statement; (2) general goals and objectives for the major functions and
operations of the agency; (3) a description of how the goals and objectives are to be achieved; (4) a
description of how the performance goals included in the performance plan shall be related to the
general goals and objectives in the strategic plan; (5) an identification of key external factors to the
agency and beyond its control that could affect the achievement of general goals and objectives; and
(6) a description of the program evaluations used in establishing or revising general goals and
objectives, with a schedule for future program evaluations.



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             We did our work in Washington, D.C., in June and July 1997. On July 7,
             1997, we provided a draft of this letter to the Director of OPM for review
             and comment. OPM’s comments are discussed at the end of this letter.


             OPM is a central management agency of the federal government charged
Background   with responsibilities for administering and enforcing federal civil service
             laws, regulations, and rules and for aiding the President in carrying out his
             responsibilities for managing the federal workforce. OPM has policy
             responsibilities related to hiring, managing, compensating, and separating
             federal employees. In connection with these responsibilities, OPM develops
             and promulgates regulations affecting agencies covered under the
             competitive civil service system. Moreover, OPM endeavors to ensure
             compliance with civil service policies through a program of overseeing the
             personnel activities of covered federal agencies.

             In addition to these responsibilities, OPM also promulgates regulations
             related to federal employee benefits, including retirement, health, and life
             insurance benefits. OPM directly administers all or major portions of these
             benefit programs, which serve millions of current and former federal
             employees.

             Top OPM officials said they envision OPM as providing human resource
             management (HRM) leadership for the federal government. Through that
             leadership, OPM officials say they intend to ensure that the merit principles
             that are the basis for the federal civil service system are followed
             throughout the government and that human resources management is
             effective.

             OPM has downsized its own workforce by about 48 percent since fiscal year
             1993, among the largest reductions that has occurred in any federal
             agency, and has made changes to its organizational structure. OPM’s
             full-time equivalent ceiling, which was 6,208 employees in fiscal year 1993,
             is projected to be down to 3,253 by fiscal year 1998. During the
             downsizing, OPM determined that the work of its training and investigations
             units could be performed as well in the private sector and, as a result,
             privatized both of those functions.2

             OPM officials said that they believe they are able to accomplish their
             mission with reduced resources because they followed a plan for the

             2
              OPM retained its residential training centers in Charlottesville, Virginia; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and
             Denver, Colorado. OPM officials said that these centers were retained because OPM believes that
             consistency in executive development is important to leadership in the federal government.



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                       downsizing. They said the redesign process they followed, which involved
                       their stakeholders, changed the way OPM does its business by focusing OPM
                       on improving service to its customers and on oversight. Further, they said
                       their experience in developing a strategy for downsizing will be useful as
                       they refine their draft strategic plan.

                       OPM  is currently revising the May 14, 1997, draft strategic plan that it
                       developed under the Results Act. It is important to recognize that, under
                       the Act, the final plan is not due until September 1997. Furthermore, the
                       Results Act anticipated that it may take several planning cycles to perfect
                       the process and that the final plan would be continually refined as various
                       planning cycles occur. Thus, our comments reflect a snapshot status of the
                       plan at a given point in time. We recognize that developing a strategic plan
                       is a dynamic process and that OPM and OMB, in consultation with
                       congressional staff, are continuing to work to revise the draft plan.


                       Of the six components required by the Act, two—how the goals and
Results in Brief       objectives will be achieved and relating performance goals to general
                       goals/objectives—were not specifically identified in the draft plan. The
                       remaining four components—mission statement, goals and objectives,
                       external factors, and program evaluations—were discussed in the draft
                       plan. However, each of these components had weaknesses, some of more
                       significance than others.

                       The four identified components generally contained some, but not all, of
                       the attributes that would be desirable to meet the purposes of the Act and
                       to be consistent with OMB guidance, or that might be expected in a
                       stand-alone explanation of OPM’s planned strategy for the next 5 years. For
                       example:

                   •   The mission statement in the draft plan makes broad reference to OPM
                       providing “high quality services” but does not otherwise explicitly
                       recognize certain key responsibilities, such as administering the federal
                       employees’ retirement and health benefit systems.
                   •   The goals and objectives suggest some results to be achieved (e.g., that
                       federal agencies will recruit and retain the workforce needed for the
                       future) but provide little direct basis for judging how OPM would know that
                       those results are being achieved or what OPM’s contribution may be to
                       achieving those results.
                   •   While a number of external factors are identified, the plan does not
                       include factors, such as changes in the labor market, that may have an



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    impact on future federal hiring and does not meet the Act’s requirement to
    link each factor to a particular goal or to identify how it might affect OPM’s
    success in meeting its goals.
•   The program evaluation component of the plan is limited to a discussion
    about customer satisfaction with OPM services. This part of the plan does
    not indicate how evaluations were used in developing strategic goals or
    provide a schedule for future evaluations as the Act requires and as OMB
    guidance instructed.

    OPM’s draft plan could better meet the purposes of the Act and OMB
    guidance if it contained a well-developed discussion of statutory
    authorities, crosscutting issues, and management problems. OPM’s draft
    plan does not discuss OPM’s key statutory authorities, which could help
    OPM’s stakeholders better understand the diversity and complexity of OPM’s
    overall mission as well as the challenges the agency faces in carrying out
    its mission. The plan does identify a number of crosscutting issues. Since
    OPM had not met with stakeholders before developing its plan—as officials
    stated in their initial consultation with House consulting team
    members—the draft plan is silent on this Results Act required
    coordination. In addition, the draft plan does not discuss the status of
    OPM’s efforts to address the formidable federal personnel management
    problems that have been identified over the years. Such a discussion in the
    plan could assist OPM in the process of refining its goals and objectives as
    well as inform stakeholders of problems that could impede OPM’s efforts to
    achieve its goals and objectives.

    Similarly, OPM’s draft plan contains little discussion of the information
    systems that directly support OPM’s role as the administrator and fiduciary
    for federal employees’ benefit programs. These systems are the source of
    performance information for gauging how well OPM carries out its
    stewardship of the benefit programs. A discussion of these systems would
    be valuable to stakeholders since an independent accountant found that
    key financial systems did not adequately support OPM’s financial
    statements for the Retirement Program and the Health Benefits Program.
    Other information systems, such as the Central Personnel Data File (CPDF),
    are also key to assessing OPM’s performance but are not mentioned in the
    plan.




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                                     Two of the components required by the Results Act—how the goals and
Draft Plan Does Not                  objectives will be achieved and relating performance goals to general
Fully Achieve the                    goals/objectives—were not specifically identified in the draft plan. The
Purposes of the Act’s                other four Results Act required components had corresponding
                                     components in OPM’s draft plan. Table 1 shows the Results Act’s required
Requirements, and the                components and the corresponding components in OPM’s plan.
Quality of Individual
Components Could Be
Improved


Table 1: Strategic Plan Components
Required by the Results Act and                                                        Components in OPM’s May 1997 draft
Corresponding Components in OPM’s    Components required by the Results Act            plan
Draft Strategic Plan                 1.Comprehensive mission statement                 1. OPM’s mission
                                       covering the major functions and
                                       operations of the agency
                                     2.General goals and objectives for the            4.OPM’s strategic goals and objectives
                                       major functions and operations of the
                                       agency
                                     3.Description of how the goals and                (None)
                                       objectives are to be achieved
                                     4.Description of how the performance              (None)
                                       goals included in the performance plan
                                       shall be related to the general goals and
                                       objectives in the strategic plan
                                     5.Identification of key external factors to 5.External factors that could affect
                                       the agency and beyond its control that      achievement of OPM’s goals and
                                       could affect achievement of general goals   objectives
                                       and objectives
                                     6.Description of the program evaluations          6.Program evaluation agenda
                                       used to establish or revise general goals
                                       with a schedule for future program
                                       evaluations
                                     (Section not required by the Act)                 2.OPM’s vision
                                     (Section not required by the Act)                 3.OPM’s values
                                     Note: Numbers indicate the order in which the components are discussed in the Results Act and
                                     OPM’s draft plan, respectively.

                                     Source: The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 and OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
                                     dated May 1997.




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Mission Statement Does    In order to establish a context in which meaningful and specific agency
Not Fully Reflect OPM’s   goals can be determined, it is crucial that the mission statement cover the
Role                      agency’s basic purpose (with particular focus on its core programs and
                          activities) as well as its major functions and operations. The other required
                          components of OPM’s strategic plan should flow from and support the
                          agency’s mission statement.

                          OPM’s mission statement is “OPM serves the public by providing human
                          resource management leadership and high-quality services based on merit
                          principles, in partnership with federal agencies and employees.” The broad
                          wording lacks the specificity needed to communicate why OPM exists and
                          what it does. For example, the statement could be more useful if it more
                          clearly delineated OPM’s major responsibilities, such as administering the
                          federal employees’ retirement and health benefit systems.

                          Further, the statement that OPM serves the public by providing human
                          resources management leadership and high-quality services based on merit
                          principles could be clarified to better reflect the results OPM expects to
                          achieve. As a central personnel management agency, OPM provides services
                          to other federal agencies. The mission statement is vague on the results
                          that OPM’s services are to achieve in the federal government and how those
                          results might ultimately serve the public.

                          OPM’s mission statement also does not appear to reflect a close
                          examination of OPM’s role in light of both its legislative mandate under the
                          Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and other relevant laws and the many
                          changes that have occurred in the federal personnel system and in OPM’s
                          external environment since the agency’s creation. The duties and
                          prerogatives of the central personnel agency, particularly when nearly half
                          of the federal government’s employees are now in the excepted service
                          and therefore not under OPM’s direct purview, are fundamental issues for
                          OPM that are not acknowledged in its mission statement.3


                          OPM’s draft strategic plan includes a vision statement—a feature provided
                          in addition to the components required by the Act—which augments the
                          mission statement and provides some greater sense of the role that OPM
                          envisions for itself. For instance, the vision statement says that OPM
                          “provides effective, merit-based, and family-friendly personnel systems for
                          use government-wide and ensures that agencies are accountable for their
                          appropriate use.” The vision statement thus may provide a basis for
                          expanding upon the mission statement. Nevertheless, the vision statement,

                          3
                           The Excepted Service: A Research Profile (GAO/GGD-97-72, May 1997).



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                           like the mission statement, does not cover certain key OPM responsibilities,
                           such as administering federal employee benefit systems.


Long-Term Goals and        OPM’s    May 1997 draft plan contains the following five goals:
Objectives Could Better
Meet the Purposes of the   (1) Provide policy direction and leadership to recruit and retain the federal
                           workforce required for the 21st century.
Act or OMB Guidance
                           (2) Protect and promote the merit-based civil service and the employee
                           earned benefit programs through an effective oversight and evaluation
                           program.

                           (3) Provide advice and assistance to help federal agencies improve their
                           human resources management programs to effectively operate within the
                           economy, demographics, and environment of the 21st century.

                           (4) Deliver high-quality, cost-effective human resources services to federal
                           agencies, employees, annuitants, and the public.

                           (5) Establish OPM as a leader in creating and maintaining a sound, diverse,
                           and cooperative work environment.

                           The Results Act requires that agency goals and objectives include
                           results-oriented goals and objectives, and OMB guidance provides that
                           general goals and objectives should be stated in a manner that allows a
                           future assessment to be made of whether the goals were or are being
                           achieved. The goals in the draft plan do not provide a sense of the results
                           OPM expects to achieve or how they might be measured. For example, in its
                           first goal, OPM states that it expects to provide policy direction and
                           leadership to recruit and retain the federal workforce needed in the future,
                           and in its fourth goal, OPM states that it will deliver high-quality,
                           cost-effective human resources services. However, neither the goals
                           themselves nor the accompanying objectives explain how OPM will assess
                           whether the appropriate workforce has been recruited or whether its
                           human resources services are high-quality or cost-effective.

                           For each of the five goals, OPM listed a number of objectives. These
                           objectives also could be made more useful. Many of the objectives are
                           simply statements of what OPM already is doing or plans to do but not of
                           what it intends to accomplish. In the Results Act, Congress stated that the
                           general goals and objectives should include outcome-related goals and



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                              objectives. When an agency’s responsibility includes producing a specific
                              product or service, objectives can include improvements to those products
                              or services. In this regard, financial management goals for the federal
                              employee benefit programs, for example, could include quantifiable goals
                              for providing service to the federal employees participating in the plans.
                              Similarly, the objectives for the retirement program could include
                              timeliness and accuracy of the payments to annuitants. Moving to the
                              extent possible toward this type of specificity would enhance the value of
                              OPM’s goals and objectives.


                              In addition, some of the objectives do not appear to have a close or direct
                              relationship with the stated goal. For instance, for the goal of providing
                              policy direction and leadership to recruit and retain the federal workforce
                              required for the 21st century, the draft plan lists an objective to “provide
                              government-wide leadership via the Personnel Automation Council for the
                              development and application of HRM automation technology, with
                              immediate focus on the conversion of paper official personnel folders to
                              an electronic medium.” While such changes in how the government
                              handles personnel records may be desirable, the relationship between
                              these changes and providing leadership to recruit and retain the federal
                              workforce of the future is not clear.

                              In summary, OMB’s Circular A-11 states that, in defining general goals and
                              objectives, agencies should avoid platitudes or rhetoric that is inherently
                              unmeasurable. OPM’s plan will be more useful to both external
                              stakeholders, like Congress, and to OPM managers, if OPM can move toward
                              goals and objectives that lend themselves more readily to progress
                              assessments. To the extent this cannot be done, Circular A-11 states that
                              the performance goals and indicators in the annual performance plan
                              should be used to provide the basis for progress assessments.4 If this is the
                              strategy that OPM plans to employ, some recognition of how the annual
                              performance plans will translate the strategic goals and objectives into
                              assessable components would be useful in the strategic plan.


Approaches or Strategies      The plan does not specifically identify strategies that OPM intends to
to Achieve Goals and          pursue to achieve its goals. For each of its five stated goals, the plan lists a
Objectives Not Specifically   set of objectives, some of which imply, but do not specifically identify, a
                              strategy related to achieving the goal. For instance, for the goal of
Identified                    providing policy direction and leadership to recruit and retain the federal

                              4
                               In addition to a strategic plan, the Act requires that agencies prepare annual performance plans. The
                              first annual performance plans are to cover fiscal year 1999.



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                           workforce required for the 21st century, the first objective under the
                           category of overall human resources management is: “By the year 2001,
                           examine all significant governmentwide HRM policies and programs to
                           identify changes needed to promote a meritorious and cost-effective
                           federal service; publicize positive outcomes.” This objective implies a
                           process of identifying significant governmentwide HRM policies and
                           studying them in sufficient detail to formulate corrective measures, if
                           necessary. However, the purposes of the Act could be better achieved if
                           the objective described how significant HRM policies will be identified,
                           specified the actions OPM will take to study them, and identified how these
                           actions relate to promoting a meritorious and cost-effective federal
                           service.

                           At a minimum, as OPM further develops its draft plan, it would be useful to
                           describe the strategy or strategies that OPM plans to use to achieve its
                           goals. In accordance with the Act and OMB Circular A-11, the plan is to
                           describe how the agency’s goals and objectives are to be achieved,
                           including a description of the processes and the human, capital, and
                           information resources required to achieve the goals and objectives. In
                           addition, the strategy should include a schedule for initiating and
                           completing any significant actions for implementing the goals.


Relationship Between       Unlike strategies, which are not specifically identified but are at least
Long-Term Goals and        implied for some goals, OPM’s draft plan neither identifies nor implies the
Annual Performance Goals   type, nature, or scope of the performance goals to be included in its annual
                           performance plan. The draft strategic plan does not include any discussion
Not Established            about the relationship between its long-term goals and annual
                           performance goals.

                           OPM  is developing the next iteration of the draft plan. The Act’s
                           requirement for a discussion of the relationship between the long-term
                           goals and annual performance goals raises certain issues for OPM to
                           consider. These issues include (1) how in its plan OPM will link the
                           strategic goals and annual performance goals; (2) how OPM will link its
                           annual performance goals to the program activity structure listed in the
                           budget; (3) whether OPM will suggest modifying its budget program activity
                           structure; (4) whether OPM’s long-term goals will be measurable and, if not,
                           what basis will be used to evaluate whether goals are met; and (5) what
                           performance measures OPM will establish to determine how well
                           information technology supports the strategic and program goals.




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Plan Identifies External   The Results Act requires, and OMB’s Circular A-11 instructs, agencies to
Factors but Does Not       include in their plans key external factors that could affect their ability to
Discuss How OPM Will       achieve their goals. OPM’s draft strategic plan identified 19 such factors,
                           which it organized by the following categories: (1) governmentwide issues,
Address Them               (2) relationships with other federal agencies, (3) federal agency structural
Operationally              issues, (4) personnel system changes, and (5) the personnel community.
                           We did not assess the validity of the factors OPM identified.

                           Although OPM’s analysis suggests that its ability to carry out its goals is
                           influenced by a number of external factors, this section of the plan could
                           be improved by adding a more thorough description of how these 19
                           factors might affect OPM and how OPM is planning to ameliorate them, if at
                           all. In most instances, although instructed to do so by OMB Circular A-11,
                           OPM did not link each factor to a particular goal or discuss how each factor
                           might affect OPM’s success in meeting its goals. For example, the plan
                           noted that changes in the labor market may affect recruitment, delivery of
                           employment information, and staffing policies and processes. However,
                           the plan did not identify the likely changes in the labor market or which of
                           OPM’s five goals would be affected or how. In addition, the draft plan did
                           not indicate for this external factor, or most of the others, the actions that
                           OPM plans to take to reduce or ameliorate the potential impact of the factor
                           on OPM’s effort to achieve its goal.

                           Further, several important external factors were barely addressed.
                           Changes taking place in the labor market again provide an example. As we
                           noted in our earlier work, demographic changes in the labor market could
                           affect a variety of human resource policies and programs, such as child
                           and elder care, flexible work schedules, health benefits, and diversity.5
                           These possible effects are not discussed in the draft plan. Other external
                           factors that were either not addressed in OPM’s plan or whose importance
                           was not well developed include the changing nature of the workforce and
                           the applicability of current classification, compensation, and supervisory
                           frameworks given those changes, as well as how targeted reductions in the
                           federal personnelist workforce combined with the increased delegation of
                           personnel functions could affect the integrity of the merit system.




                           5
                             The Changing Workforce: Demographic Issues Facing the Federal Government (GAO/GGD-92-38,
                           Mar. 24, 1992).



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Program Evaluations Were   OPM’s draft strategic plan contains a section that discusses the program
Discussed, but the Act’s   evaluation efforts of various OPM organizational units. In general, however,
Requirements Were Not      these discussions of evaluation efforts seem to broadly cover OPM’s
                           personnel management oversight responsibilities or specify how well
Fully Met                  OPM’s units are providing services. The units rely mainly on customer
                           surveys to determine whether current services need to be improved.

                           To meet the purposes of the Act, this discussion of program evaluations
                           needs to be expanded. The Act calls for an explanation of how evaluations
                           were used in establishing or revising the general goals and objectives and
                           for a schedule for future program evaluations. The draft OPM plan does not
                           contain these required elements.

                           Moreover, as described in the draft plan, the evaluations rarely address
                           whether the current services need to be altered or new services need to be
                           developed to achieve OPM’s broader, long-term goals. For example, the
                           Retirement and Insurance Service surveys annuitants who have had a
                           retirement-related transaction to determine whether they were satisfied
                           with the speed and accuracy of the transaction. The program evaluation
                           plan does not indicate, however, whether the Retirement and Insurance
                           Service unit, or any other OPM unit, evaluates whether the current federal
                           retirement systems are adequate to enable the government to attract and
                           retain appropriately skilled employees at a reasonable overall
                           compensation cost.


                           A discussion of OPM’s statutory responsibilities could be an informative
Key Statutory              addition to the plan. OMB Circular A-11 states, for example, that the
Authorities Are            mission statement may include a concise discussion of enabling legislation
Generally Reflected in     or authorizing legislation, as well as identification of issues that Congress
                           specifically charged the agency to address.
OPM’s Strategic Plan
but Not Discussed          Unlike some federal agencies, a single enabling statute, the 1978 Civil
                           Service Reform Act, as amended, serves as the primary source of OPM’s
                           authority and is the primary basis for much of OPM’s mission. Among other
                           things, that act vests the function of “executing, administering, and
                           enforcing” the civil service rules and regulations of the President and OPM
                           and the laws governing the civil service in the OPM Director. The Director’s
                           functions also include “recommending policies relating to the selection,
                           promotion, transfer, performance, pay, conditions of service, tenure, and
                           separation of employees.”




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                          Although the 1978 act specifies that agency heads bear responsibility for
                          ensuring compliance with civil service laws, regulations, and rules, it also
                          requires that the OPM Director establish and maintain an oversight program
                          to ensure that the execution of civil service activities is in accordance with
                          merit system principles and other standards established by the act.
                          Separately, OPM has authority to promulgate regulations and manage
                          employee benefits, including retirement, health, and life insurance
                          benefits. In addition to these responsibilities, OPM has a number of other
                          specific responsibilities under law and executive orders.

                          In our opinion, some recognition of these statutory responsibilities in the
                          plan would provide valuable perspective for stakeholders. While the goals
                          and objectives in the plan are so broadly worded as to generally reflect
                          most of these statutory responsibilities, the plan would be significantly
                          improved in our view if it explicitly discussed OPM’s underlying statutory
                          responsibilities. OPM’s other responsibilities derived from the statute and
                          executive orders could be presented in sufficient detail for stakeholders to
                          understand the full range of OPM’s responsibilities and at least generally
                          how OPM plans to fulfill those responsibilities over the 5-year period
                          covered by the strategic plan.


                          As a central management agency, OPM must work with or through other
Plan Identifies Several   federal agencies to ensure that federal personnel policies are appropriate
Crosscutting Program      and are followed properly. Thus, OPM’s core responsibilities are, in some
Activities but Does       sense, crosscutting across a large portion of the federal government. More
                          narrowly, OPM’s functions or activities relate fairly directly to the functions
Not Discuss               or activities of certain other federal agencies.
Coordination
                          OPM identified a number of crosscutting responsibilities in its draft
                          strategic plan. These include acting as the guardian of the merit system;
                          working with federal agencies to help them improve their HRM programs;
                          helping federal workers balance work and family issues; supporting
                          federal employees through labor-management partnerships; providing
                          leadership for developing and applying HRM information technology; being
                          an active member of the personnel security community; and integrating
                          employment information systems with those at the state, local, and
                          collegiate levels.

                          While developing its strategic plan, OPM is required by the Results Act not
                          only to consult with Congress but also to solicit and consider the views
                          and suggestions of customers and other stakeholders who could



                          Page 13                                GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
B-277421




potentially be affected by or interested in the plan. The draft plan does
identify some organizations with which OPM must work to achieve results
on crosscutting issues, including the Interagency Advisory Group of
federal personnel directors, the Personnel Automation Council, the
National Partnership Council, the Security Policy Board and Security
Policy Forum, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Federal Labor Relations Authority
(FLRA), and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Further, OPM
officials noted that they regularly consult with other executive branch
agencies and work with OPM’s stakeholders to ensure that their views are
addressed as OPM develops its policies and programs.

However, the draft plan does not indicate that OPM, in developing the plan,
coordinated with the entities involved in these crosscutting issues. In the
June 27, 1997, consultation on OPM’s strategic plan with congressional
staff, OPM officials acknowledged that they had not yet involved
stakeholders but said that they would be doing so.

Further, the May 14 OPM draft plan does not assess the potential for
overlap and duplication or, conversely, cooperation and coordination with
agencies and others on other crosscutting issues. The draft plan also does
not discuss the extent of the interaction that will need to take place with
these entities if OPM’s goals and objectives are to be realized. The draft
plan does mention a number of entities with which OPM must work but
does not mention other organizations and groups that also have roles in
crosscutting issues. For example, the plan could discuss OPM’s relationship
with the Department of Labor on workers’ compensation, work/family,
and other labor issues, or with the Social Security Administration on
disability and retirement programs. Similarly, it could mention the Federal
Retirement Thrift Investment Board, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel,
and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and how OPM plans to interact
with these agencies in meeting its goals.

Including a fuller discussion of OPM’s interrelationship with other agencies
in the plan would be consistent with the purposes of the Act. Such a
discussion likely would also provide more information for Congress and
other stakeholders to use in judging whether OPM’s crosscutting
responsibilities should in any sense be modified.




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                           B-277421




                           Over the years, we have reported on major management problems OPM has
Strategic Plan Does        faced in attempting to carry out its mission. OPM has undertaken efforts to
Not Address Some           reorganize, reform, and re-engineer its overall mission-related
Major Management           management approaches and discusses these changes in several places in
                           the draft plan. Nonetheless, certain management challenges are not
Challenges                 addressed in OPM’s draft strategic plan, such as the status of its efforts to
                           improve its financial records.

                           Although this type of information is not explicitly required to be included
                           in OPM’s strategic plan, it could help OPM and its stakeholders in at least
                           two ways. First, it could help in the processes of developing and reviewing
                           the selection of goals, strategies, and objectives. Second, major
                           management problems could impede OPM’s efforts to achieve its goals and
                           objectives, and stakeholders could benefit from knowing what OPM has
                           done, is doing, or plans to do to address such problems.

                           We believe our past work, as well as that of OPM’s Inspector General and
                           MSPB’s Office of Policy and Evaluation, identified problem areas that are
                           significant enough to warrant some discussion in the plan. At a minimum,
                           in problem areas where OPM has taken successful corrective actions, some
                           discussion of how OPM addressed the problems and intends to prevent
                           them from resurfacing would be informative and useful. If they do
                           resurface, these problems could have a negative impact on OPM’s ability to
                           achieve goals and measure performance. For other problem areas where
                           OPM may have had less success, the plan could identify these and discuss
                           how OPM plans to resolve them. If these management problems persist,
                           OPM’s ability to successfully implement the Results Act may be hampered.


                           Some of the major management challenges OPM faces include (1) ensuring
                           that the federal government is adequately competitive in obtaining future
                           workers; (2) determining whether federal employee compensation (e.g.,
                           pay and benefits) is appropriate; and (3) ensuring that decisions for
                           information technology projects are based on assessments of mission
                           benefits, risks, and costs.


Attracting and Retaining   We reported in 1992 that the federal government faced stiff competition
Well-Qualified Employees   from other employers, who also wanted to hire and retain the “best and
                           brightest.” In this competition for talent, the dimensions (in addition to
                           pay) that we said affected the federal government’s competitive position
                           included recruiting and hiring processes, benefits’ structures, and
                           approaches to downsizing when workforces had to be reduced. However,



                           Page 15                               GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
                          B-277421




                          we noted that many other employers had more progressive approaches in
                          these areas than the federal government. The ability of the federal
                          government to attract and retain well-qualified employees is recognized in
                          OPM’s draft plan, but a fuller analysis of what, if anything, needs to be done
                          to ensure future competitiveness in a rapidly changing labor market would
                          be useful. (See, for example, GAO/GGD-92-38, GAO/GGD-92-84, GAO/T-GGD-96-42, and
                          GAO/GGD-96-35.)



Determining Appropriate   Nine years ago, it was generally recognized that inadequate salaries were a
Compensation              primary cause of the government’s recruitment and retention problems. In
                          1990, the administration and Congress reached an agreement on a
                          comprehensive, long-term pay reform program that was designed to
                          ultimately make federal salaries competitive with the private sector. The
                          program was enacted into law.

                          However, the pay adjustments called for under the pay comparability
                          methodology established by the act often have not been authorized. Full
                          pay comparability adjustments have not been authorized, in part because,
                          according to OPM officials, the administration believes that the pay
                          comparability methodology is flawed. Although the act allows for denials
                          of the full comparability adjustment, at the time of the act’s passage, full
                          implementation of pay reform was considered to be a key building block
                          of a more effective government and important to the government’s ability
                          to attract and retain a highly qualified and motivated workforce. Thus, this
                          is a key issue for OPM to consider; however, the draft plan does not
                          specifically address this and other compensation matters, such as whether
                          federal retirement and health benefits are now and likely will continue to
                          be competitive with those offered by other employers. (See, for example,
                          GAO/GGD-90-117, GAO/GGD-91-63FS, and GAO/OCE-95-1.)



Addressing Information    OPM’s plan indicates that information technology will play a significant role
Management and            in accomplishing its goals and objectives over the next 5 years. For
Technology Issues         example, the plan states that OPM has improved customer service in
                          employee earned benefit programs through investment in technology.
                          However, the strategic plan does not address how OPM intends to meet
                          requirements of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 for implementing a
                          framework of modern technology management to improve performance
                          and meet strategic goals. This management framework would describe
                          OPM’s approach for ensuring that (1) senior executives are involved in
                          information management decisions, (2) a qualified senior-level Chief



                          Page 16                                 GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
                       B-277421




                       Information Officer is appointed, (3) appropriate agencywide technology
                       standards are established, (4) discipline over information technology (IT)
                       spending is imposed through implementation of an IT investment strategy,
                       and (5) performance measures are used to assess technology’s
                       contribution in achieving mission results.

                       Further, the discussion of two additional critical areas would strengthen
                       OPM’s strategic plan. These areas—the year 2000 problem and information
                       security—are so important that we have identified them as high-risk areas
                       for the entire federal government. The year 2000 problem is rooted in the
                       way dates are recorded and computed in many computer systems. Many of
                       OPM’s critical systems are date dependent and exchange data with virtually
                       every federal government agency. And, as a result of problems associated
                       with the year 2000, OPM’s systems could malfunction or produce incorrect
                       information. For the past several decades, systems have typically used the
                       last two digits to represent the year, such as “97” to represent 1997, in
                       order to conserve on electronic data storage and reduce operating costs.
                       With this two-digit format, however, the year 2000 is indistinguishable
                       from 1900, 2001 from 1901, and so on. As a result of this ambiguity,
                       calculations, comparisons, or sorting may generate incorrect results when
                       applied to years after 1999. OPM’s plan does not address the need to ensure
                       that its systems are year-2000 compliant so that operations are not
                       disrupted and mission performance is not adversely affected. Also,
                       because of the sensitivity and criticality of its information systems, it is
                       important for the OPM plan to address how it intends to ensure that
                       systems are secure and adequately protected from unauthorized access.


                       OPM uses or maintains information systems that often rely on the quality of
Plan Provides Little   input from other federal agencies. These systems range from the CPDF,
Discussion About       which contains information about the status of more than 1.8 million
Agency Capacity to     federal civilian employees, to information systems that directly support
                       OPM’s role as the administrator and fiduciary for federal employees’ major
Provide Reliable       benefit programs. The OPM draft plan has little, if any, discussion of these
Performance            systems and whether they are and will be adequate to provide reliable
                       performance information related to OPM’s goals. A discussion would be
Information            valuable since the systems for supporting benefit programs need to be
                       improved and other systems may not be adequately reliable to support
                       future uses.

                       OPM is one of the 24 federal agencies covered under the Chief Financial
                       Officers (CFO) Act of 1990, as expanded by the Government Management



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Reform Act (GMRA) of 1994. GMRA requires agencies to have their
agencywide financial statements annually audited, beginning with the
fiscal year 1996 statements. However, OPM’s responsibilities under, and
efforts to meet the requirements of, this act are not discussed in the draft
plan. The importance of OPM’s efforts to comply with the CFO Act is
perhaps most dramatically linked to its responsibility for administering
and managing the federal retirement, health, and life insurance programs.
This includes determining and paying benefits, maintaining accurate
benefit records, providing retirement support services, negotiating and
administering contracts with insurance carriers, and developing legislative
initiatives for all three programs.

OMB  guidance on implementing the audit requirements of the CFO Act
requires agency auditors to determine whether the agency’s internal
control structure provides reasonable assurance that the data supporting
the reported performance measures exist and are complete, so as to
permit preparation of reliable and complete performance information. An
official from OPM’s OIG told us that the OIG had not done any audits or
issued any reports on performance measures. However, the OIG official
told us that an evaluation group within the OIG will look at performance
measures to determine, among other things, whether the measures are
appropriate.

For a number of years, OPM has reported in its Federal Managers’ Financial
Integrity Act reports on material weaknesses in its financial management
systems and financial management reporting. Moreover, the independent
public accountant auditing OPM’s fiscal year 1996 financial statements
under the CFO Act issued a qualified opinion on the retirement program
due to OPM’s inability to adequately verify the determination of benefit
payments to annuitants. In addition, the federal health benefits program
received a disclaimer of opinion as a result of the independent public
accountant’s inability to satisfy itself as to the accuracy of the transactions
and balances related to insurance premiums and activities of insurers.

In its fiscal year 1996 financial report, the independent public accountant
noted that OPM had not implemented adequate financial management
policies and procedures that establish internal controls and financial
management/accounting systems that provide useful and reliable financial
information for numerous areas. Also, it was reported that OPM did not
have ongoing oversight and monitoring procedures for responsibilities it
had delegated to federal agencies. The independent public accountant also
reported the following:



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    B-277421




•   OPM’s departmental and individual financial management responsibilities
    did not incorporate policies and procedures designed to monitor and
    ensure the accuracy and completeness of the financial records of the plans
    for retirement, health benefits, and life insurance.
•   OPM had not clearly defined the Financial Management Division’s business
    purposes and the responsibilities of its sections and employees, and OPM
    had limited internal controls and accounting systems. In addition, the
    financial information provided by and for management was not necessarily
    reliable or useful in the decisionmaking process.

    Concerning automated information management systems, the independent
    public accountant found that OPM (1) did not have an Information
    Resources Management plan that provided for a 1- to 5-year forecast of
    activities, (2) had not finalized its documentation and implemented a
    system security plan for general support systems and major applications,
    and (3) did not have a System Development Life Cycle for major systems
    implementation efforts.

    The independent public accountant recommended that OPM focus on
    re-engineering and streamlining its financial operations. The independent
    accountant said that such fundamental thinking was needed because OPM’s
    processes and systems have evolved over a long period of time and have
    changed to address specific issues or weaknesses in individual processes
    or systems, without necessarily assessing the overall effects on OPM’s
    financial management operations. The independent public accountant
    recommended that OPM recharge its Quality Improvement Teams to
    improve its financial management systems, and establish time frames and
    action plans for each significant area and then aggressively monitor the
    plans and time frames.

    OPM  and public policy officials also rely on the CPDF to gain an
    understanding of the current federal workforce and to track trends in
    employment levels, grade and pay, and other matters related to federal
    personnel policies. However, this system is not comprehensive. Only those
    agencies covered by Title 5 are required to provide data to OPM. Those
    agencies not covered by Title 5 provide data for the CPDF on a voluntary
    basis.6 Although OPM has various controls in place to ensure the accuracy
    of data entered into the CPDF, to our knowledge a comprehensive study of
    the reliability of CPDF data, or its suitability to support federal personnel
    decisions in an era of significant change in such policies, has not been

    6
     OPM officials indicated that the CPDF currently covers approximately 93 percent of civilian federal
    employees, excluding the Postal Service.



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                  done. We are currently studying issues related to the CPDF. Since OPM and
                  federal policymakers rely on the CPDF, a discussion of the reliability of the
                  system and what, if anything, OPM believes may be necessary to make the
                  system more useful in an evolving federal personnel arena, would be a
                  useful addition to the draft strategic plan.


                  On July 10, 1997, the Director of OPM provided written comments on our
Agency Comments   draft letter. OPM said that it found our suggestions related to its May 14
                  draft strategic plan to be constructive and that most would be adopted as
                  OPM continues to revise its plan. Among other things, OPM said that its
                  (1) revised plan would contain all six of the Act’s required components in
                  clearly recognizable formats; (2) objectives would be revised to be more
                  results oriented, with time frames for completion where appropriate;
                  (3) revised plan would include linkages between external factors and
                  goals/objectives; (4) program evaluation discussion would include more
                  information on OPM’s evaluation agenda; (5) revised plan would discuss
                  OPM’s statutory authorities, crosscutting issues, and management
                  challenges; (6) revised plan would include more information on OPM’s
                  information technology systems and the objectives of its financial
                  management systems; and (7) discussion of strategies for achieving goals
                  and objectives would be more clearly identified. However, OPM also
                  disagreed with some of our suggestions and suggested that including
                  certain additional information in our draft would provide useful context.

                  On the OPM mission statement, for example, OPM disagreed that its mission
                  statement does not fully reflect its role. OPM said that its mission was the
                  product of a very thorough development process that began soon after the
                  current Director came to OPM. This process included steps that involved
                  OPM senior managers, the OPM workforce, and the agency directors of
                  personnel for other federal agencies. OPM said it believes the mission
                  statement has assisted the agency in maintaining its focus during its
                  downsizing effort and remains on target for guiding the agency over the
                  period to be covered by the draft OPM strategic plan. On the other hand,
                  OPM said it does plan to revise portions of the draft plan to provide greater
                  specificity on why OPM exists and what it does. We agree that revising
                  portions of the plan to provide greater specificity on why OPM exists and
                  what it does would be valuable. Nevertheless, to the extent OPM can more
                  precisely reflect these factors in its mission statement, we believe the
                  mission statement itself would be more useful, especially to those external
                  to OPM, who want to understand OPM’s mission. We modified our text to
                  more clearly reflect this observation. In response to another OPM concern,



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we corrected references that said the mission statement was a draft; it has
been OPM’s mission statement since December 1993 according to OPM.

OPM also said that the goals it identified in the draft plan are at the core of
what it will do in the next 5 years and that OPM was confident that it had
identified the right goals. We have not analyzed whether OPM has identified
the right goals. However, we believe that, as OPM revises its plan, the goals
could be clarified to provide a better sense of what the results are that OPM
intends to achieve during the plan period and how those results might be
measured. As to its objectives for each goal, OPM said that it was revising
the objectives to be more results oriented and to outline time frames for
their completion, where appropriate. These changes will, in our opinion,
be beneficial, particularly if the revised objectives will lend themselves
more readily to progress assessments.

On one specific goal in the draft plan, related to providing services to
employees and annuitants, OPM said it believed our suggestion for a
timeliness and accuracy objective was more appropriate for the annual
performance plan than the strategic plan. We agree that OPM’s annual
performance plans could contain specific goals or objectives to make
quantifiable improvements in timeliness and accuracy of payments to
annuitants. However, it can also be appropriate to set long-term goals in a
strategic plan that are subsequently to be achieved in increments over the
period of the strategic plan. It is in this sense that we used a timeliness and
accuracy objective for OPM’s retirement program as an illustrative example
of improvements that could be made in the OPM draft strategic plan.

OPM also acknowledged that it was just starting its formal consultation
process with stakeholders on its strategic plan but noted that it consults
regularly with other executive branch agencies as it develops policies and
programs. We added some discussion of OPM’s routine consultations to our
text. OPM also believed that our discussion of crosscutting issues suggested
that OPM’s responsibilities significantly overlapped or duplicated those of
other agencies. OPM summarized its interpretation of our text as saying
that a fuller discussion of these responsibilities would assist others in
determining which OPM responsibilities should “in any sense be modified.”
OPM strongly disagreed with this premise and noted that at Congress’
request the administration had done a comprehensive study of the
adjudicatory functions of OPM and related agencies. That study, according
to OPM, found little overlap. We believe our text appropriately discussed
this issue. We did not draw any conclusion that the relationship between
OPM and other agencies with related responsibilities was problematic.




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B-277421




Rather, we highlighted the utility of a discussion in the draft plan that
would more fully show those interrelationships and whether the
relationships were optimal for achieving OPM’s and the related agencies’
missions.

In relation to our observations on the discussion of program evaluations in
OPM’s  draft plan, OPM did not understand why we said the plan’s discussion
of customer satisfaction was “not consistent with the intention of this
provision of the Act.” OPM said that its sense was that the Act supports
customer satisfaction as one key outcome measure. We clarified our text
to better reflect our point that the program evaluation section would be
more consistent with the Act’s overall intent if it included a schedule for
future evaluations and an explanation of how evaluations were used, if at
all, to establish goals and objectives.

Although OPM said that it would discuss management challenges in its
revised draft plan, it offered observations on our discussion of challenges
OPM faces. Specifically, on determining appropriate compensation for
federal employees, OPM agreed that this was a major management
challenge and said that the plan would include a specific objective on the
issue. However, OPM said that its plan did address compensation matters.
We revised our text as appropriate to better reflect OPM’s discussion of the
issue in the draft plan. Also, OPM said that the challenge of ensuring high
ethical standards was more appropriately a responsibility of the Office of
Government Ethics (OGE) rather than OPM’s. We believe ethical issues
clearly are tied to merit principles such as that of maintaining high
standards of integrity. However, we agree that OGE has lead responsibility
on ethics and eliminated this discussion from our letter.

Finally, OPM offered several technical and clarification comments, which
we addressed as appropriate in the letter.


As arranged with your offices, unless you publicly announce its contents
earlier, we plan no further distribution of this letter until 30 days from its
issuance. At that time, we will send copies of this letter to the Ranking
Minority Members of your Committees; to the Chairmen and Ranking
Minority Members of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs,
Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation, and Federal
Services; the House Committee on Governmental Reform and Oversight,
Subcommittee on the Civil Service; and to the Director, Office of
Personnel Management. We will send copies to others on request. Please



Page 22                                 GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
B-277421




contact me on (202) 512-9039 if you or your staff have any questions
concerning this letter. Major contributors to this letter are listed in
enclosure II.




Michael Brostek
Associate Director, Federal Management
  and Workforce Issues




Page 23                                GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Enclosure I

Comments From the Office of Personnel
Management




              Page 24       GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Enclosure I
Comments From the Office of Personnel
Management




Page 25                                 GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Enclosure I
Comments From the Office of Personnel
Management




Page 26                                 GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Enclosure I
Comments From the Office of Personnel
Management




Page 27                                 GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Enclosure I
Comments From the Office of Personnel
Management




Page 28                                 GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Enclosure II

Major Contributors to This Report


                        Steven J. Wozny, Assistant Director, Federal Management and Workforce
General Government      Issues
Division, Washington,   Clifton G. Douglas, Jr., Evaluator-in-Charge
D.C.                    Michael J. O’Donnell, Advisor

                        Ronald B. Bageant, Assistant Director
Accounting and          John P. Finedore, Assistant Director
Information             Joan B. Hawkins, Assistant Director
Management Division,    Brian C. Spencer, Technical Assistant Director

Washington, D.C.
                        Alan N. Belkin, Acting Associate General Counsel
Office of the General   Robert J. Heitzman, Attorney
Counsel, Washington,
D.C.




                        Page 29                              GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Page 30   GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Page 31   GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Page 32   GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Related GAO Products


              Personnel Practices: Improper Personnel Actions on Selected CPSC
              Appointments (GAO/GGD-97-131, June 27, 1997).

              Federal Civilian Personnel: Cost of Lump-Sum Annual Leave Payments to
              Employees Separating From Government (GAO/GGD-97-100, May 29, 1997).

              The Excepted Service: A Research Profile (GAO/GGD-97-72, May 1997).

              Federal Retirement: Federal and Private Sector Retirement Program
              Benefits Vary (GAO/GGD-97-40, Apr. 7, 1997).

              Information Management and Technology (GAO/HR-97-9, Feb. 1, 1997).

              Exposure Draft Entitled Year 2000 Computing Crisis: An Assessment
              Guide (GAO/AIMD-10.1.14, Feb. 1997).

              Assessing Risks and Returns: A Guide for Evaluating Federal Agencies’ IT
              Investment Decision-making (GAO/AIMD-10.1.13, Feb. 1997).

              Federal Downsizing: Better Workforce Strategic Planning Could Have
              Made Buyouts More Effective (GAO/GGD-96-62, Aug. 26, 1996).

              Privatization of OPM’s Investigations Service (GAO/GGD-96-97R, Aug. 22, 1996).

              Cost Analysis: Privatizing OPM Investigations (GAO/GGD-96-121R, July 5, 1996).

              Federal Downsizing: The Costs and Savings of Buyouts Versus
              Reductions-in-Force (GAO/GGD-96-63, May 14, 1996).

              Transforming the Civil Service: Building the Workforce of the Future,
              Results of a GAO-Sponsored Symposium (GAO/GGD-96-35, Dec. 20, 1995).

              Retention Allowances: Usage and Compliance Vary Among Federal
              Agencies (GAO/GGD-96-32, Dec. 11, 1995).

              Federal Employee Redress: An Opportunity for Reform (GAO/T-GGD-96-42,
              Nov. 29, 1995).

              Federal Pensions: Thrift Savings Plan Has Key Role in Retirement Benefits
              (GAO/HEHS-96-1, Oct. 19, 1995).




              Page 33                                GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Related GAO Products




Civil Service Reform: Changing Times Demand New Approaches
(GAO/T-GGD-96-31, Oct. 12, 1995).

Equal Employment Opportunity: Women and Minority Representation at
Interior, Agriculture, Navy, and State (GAO/GGD-95-211, Sept. 29, 1995).

Federal Personnel Management: Views on Selected NPR Human Resource
Recommendations (GAO/GGD-95-221BR, Sept. 18, 1995).

Federal Retirement: Benefits for Members of Congress, Congressional
Staff, and Other Employees (GAO/GGD-95-78, May 15, 1995).

Federal Affirmative Employment: Progress of Women and Minority
Criminal Investigators at Selected Agencies (GAO/GGD-95-85, Apr. 24, 1995).

Conflict-of-Interest Controls: Documented Recusal Obligations of Top
Political Appointees in DOE and EPA (GAO/GGD-95-81FS, Mar. 7, 1995).

Federal Personnel: Federal /Private Sector Pay Comparisons (GAO/OCE-95-1,
Dec. 14, 1994).

Personnel Practices: Presidential Transition Conversions and
Appointments: Changes Needed (GAO/GGD-94-66, May 31, 1994).

Executive Guide: Improving Mission Performance Through Strategic
Information Management and Technology (GAO/AIMD-94-115, May 1994).

Performance Management: Comments on Reauthorization of the
Performance Management and Recognition System (GAO/T-GGD-93-37,
June 24, 1993).

Inadequate Enforcement of Federal Ethics Requirements at VA Medical
Centers (GAO/HRD-93-39, Apr. 30, 1993).

Federal Personnel Management: OPM Reliance on Agency Oversight of
Personnel Systems Not Fully Justified (GAO/GGD-93-24, Dec. 8, 1992).

The Public Service (GAO/OCG-93-7TR, Dec. 1992).

Whistleblower Protection: Determining Whether Reprisal Occurred
Remains Difficult (GAO/GGD-93-3, Oct. 27, 1992).




Page 34                               GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
Related GAO Products




Tax Administration: IRS’ Progress on Integrity and Ethics Issues
(GAO/T-GGD-92-62, July 22, 1992).

Federal Employment: How Federal Employees View the Government as a
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Senior Executive Service: Opinions About the Federal Work Environment
(GAO/GGD-92-63, May 1, 1992).

The Changing Workforce: Comparison of Federal and Nonfederal
Work/Family Programs and Approaches (GAO/GGD-92-84, Apr. 23, 1992).

The Changing Workforce: Demographic Issues Facing the Federal
Government (GAO/GGD-92-38, Mar. 24, 1992).

Federal Health Benefits Program: Stronger Controls Needed to Reduce
Administrative Costs (GAO/GGD-92-37, Feb. 12, 1992).

Employee Conduct Standards: Some Outside Activities Present
Conflict-of-Interest Issues (GAO/GGD-92-34, Feb. 10, 1992).

Government Contractors: Are Service Contractors Performing Inherently
Governmental Functions? (GAO/GGD-92-11, Nov. 18, 1991).

Federal Affirmative Employment: Status of Women and Minority
Representation in the Federal Workforce (GAO/T-GGD-92-2, Oct. 23, 1991).

Federal Labor Relations: A Program in Need of Reform (GAO/GGD-91-101,
July 30, 1991).

Fraud and Abuse: Stronger Controls Needed in Federal Employee Health
Benefits Program (GAO/GGD-91-95, July 16, 1991).

Federal Pay: Private Sector Salary Differences by Locality (GAO/GGD-91-63FS,
Apr. 29, 1991).

Performance Management: How Well Is the Government Dealing With
Poor Performers? (GAO/GGD-91-7, Oct. 2, 1990).

Recruitment and Retention: Inadequate Federal Pay Cited as Primary
Problem by Agency Officials (GAO/GGD-90-117, Sept. 11, 1990).




Page 35                               GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
           Related GAO Products




           Federal Recruiting and Hiring: Making Government Jobs Attractive to
           Prospective Employees (GAO/GGD-90-105, Aug. 22, 1990).

           Financial Disclosure: USDA’s Systems Limited by Insufficient Top
           Management Support (GAO/GGD-90-100, July 13, 1990).

           Office of Personnel Management: Better Performance Information Needed
           (GAO/GGD-90-44, Feb. 7, 1990).

           Managing Human Resources: Greater OPM Leadership Needed to Address
           Critical Challenges (GAO/GGD-89-19, Jan. 19, 1989).

           Ethics Enforcement: Results of Conflict of Interest Investigations
           (GAO/GGD-88-34, Feb. 19, 1988).




(410161)   Page 36                               GAO/GGD-97-150R OPM’s Draft Strategic Plan
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