United States GA!! General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division B-277102 June 27, 1997 The Honorable Joe McDade Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Committee on Appropriations House of Representatives Dear Mr. Chairman: Subject: Denartment of Enersx Status of DOE’s Efforts to Imnrove Traininq As requested, we are providing you with information on the status of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) efforts to improve its training program. In early 1995, DOE reviewed its training program and found a number of deficiencies, including duplication and waste associated with the development and delivery of training and poor recordkeeping of completed trajning. The review concluded, among other things, that if certain responsibility and accountability changes were made, approximately $50 million in annual training costs could be avoided. To improve training and realize savings, DOE, in July 1995, issued a strategic training implementation plan for its feder&l employees. DOE intends to develop a similar document to improve the training of its contractors. The implementation plan includes a number of individual activities that need to be accomplished. DOE has also established performance goals to measure its progress in improving training within the Department. As agreed with your office, this report summarizes the status of activities listed in the most recent version of DOE’s strategic training implementation plan and the extent to which DOE has met the performance goals associated with the plan (additional details are contained in the enc. I). SUMMARY Since the plan’s initial issuance, DOE has (1) established a DOE-wide training structure framework; (2) collected baseline training cost data; and (3) created DOE’s training home page and bulletin board on the Internet. Nevertheless, GAOLRCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training B-277102 DOE has been slow to implement many of the activities outlined in the strategic plan. For instance, the plan specified that a Training and Development Management Council should be established and conduct its first meeting by September 1995. The Council has the overall responsibility for overseeing the efforts to improve DOE’s training program. DOE’s records show that the Council did not conduct its first meeting until July 1996, or 10 months later than planned. According to DOE officials, higher-priority work prevented the Department from convening the Council sooner. In addition, when the strategic plan was initially issued, DOE intended to implement all of the activities specified by December 1996. However, as of April 30, 1997, DOE indicated that a majority of the activities were still in process and had completion dates extending to the end of calendar year 1998. DOE has also determined that several activities are no longer applicable. For example, DOE had intended to standardize all training that has application throughout the Department.’ According to the strategic training plan, DOE offices were independently developing such training, which was resulting in a waste of resources and nonstandardized training within DOE. Department officials, however, have determined that the standardization of all training that has application throughout DOE is too comprehensive in scope and needs to be addressed through a step-by-step approach. Therefore, DOE is considering deleting this activity from the strategic training plan. Similarly, DOE intends to delete a number of other activities related to the standardization of training. Finally, DOE has largely not met the specific performance goals established for the strategic plan. Those goals consisted of (1) a 50-percent reduction by March 1997 in the number of duplicate training courses offered by DOE and its contractors; (2) having its pilot Center of Excellence rated successful by more than half of its customers;2 and (3) a &percent reduction in DOE’s and its contractors’ training expenditures in fiscal year 1997. According to DOE officials, the Department must first enter all training courses into a central database (scheduled for October 1997) before it can analyze courses and reduce redundancy. DOE officials also said the Department cannot complete a customer satisfaction survey on the pilot Center of Excellence until after the center is fully functioning (scheduled for July 1997). Finally, DOE officia3s !Ihis training includes, for example, project management, engineering fundamentals, radiological controls, safety and health, and supervisory skills. 2Generally, a Center of Excellence is an organization that has been selected for its training, development, and technical expertise in a topical area that cuts across the entire Department. 2 GAO/RCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training B-277102 indicated that training expenditures for fiscal year 1997 will decrease by about 8 percent. AGENCY COMMENTS We provided copies of a draft of our report to DOE for its review and comment. In written comments (see enc. II), DOE states that the report does not fully describe its accomplishments, how the Department has adapted the plan to meet new circumstances, and its continued commitment to improving training. In the comments, DOE highlights a number of accomplishments. Most of these are cited in our report. The major exception is a Zl-percent reduction in training costs from fiscal year 1995 through fiscal year 1997 claimed by DOE. . In our view, it is unclear that this reduction is attributable to the activities of the strategic training implementation plan, which was the subject of our review, since no major activity completed under the plan directly ties to dollar savings. DOE also points out that changing circumstances have affected its ability to meet the milestones in its plam3 These changing circumstances include (1) reductions in budget and training personnel resources, (2) downsizing and reorganization activities, and (3) changes in the way the Department contracts for certain key services. Our report recognizes that in some cases DOE was required to alter its plan. All of the specific modifications to the plan that are cited in DOE’s comments are discussed in this report. Finally, DOE’s comments stress its continued commitment to the training improvement initiative. The Department points out that (1) the Training and Development Management Council will meet in July 1997 to review progress to date and to affirm new goals, (2) two Centers of Excellence will be established by December 1997, and (3) DOE will issue a revised training improvement plan to serve as a starting point for implementing a more focused initiative for fiscal years 1998 and 1999. While these efforts were not included in our review, we are pleased to note DOE’s commitment to improving its training program. 3The original plan dated July 1995 forms a baseline from which DOE’s progress can be measured. 3 GAO/WED-97-178B DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training B-277102 SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY We conducted our work at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C. We obtained DOE’s strategic training plan and the status information on that plan from DOE’s Office of Training and Human Resource Development. We discussed this information with DOE officials from that office as well as with DOE officials from other departmental offices who are assisting in the implementation of the training plan. We verified the accuracy of the status information provided to the extent that DOE had documented specific actions. To meet your needs to have this report in urne for the fiscal year 1998 budget cycle, we did not analyze the reasons why DOE has not met more of the target dates listed in the training plan. We also obtained from DOE’s Office of Training and Human Resource Development a list of the performance goals that had been established for the training plan and discussed the status of those goals with DOE officials from that office. We performed this work from May through June 1997 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report for 30 days. At that time, we will provide copies to appropriate congressional committees, the Secretary of Energy, and other interested parties. We will also make copies available to others upon request. Please call me at (202) 512-3841 if you or your staff have any questions. Major contributors to this report include Robert Baney, William Seay, and William Feruel. Enclosures - 2 4 GAO/RCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I STATUS OF MAJOR ACTIVITIES AND PERFORMANCE GOALS ASSOCIATED WITH DOE’S DECEMBER 1996 STRATEGIC TRAINING IMPLEMENTATION PLAN Table 1.1: Status of DOE’s Activities to Establish a DOE-Wide Trainina and Development Manaaement Council initial target DOE-reportedstatus (as of April 30, Planned activity completion date” 1997) Draft a Training and Development August 1995 Completed May 1996 Management Council charte?’ Nominate and approve council August 1995 Completed June 1996 members Conduct first Training and September 1995 Completed July 1996 Development Management Council meeting Approve Training and September 1995 Completed August 1996 Development Management Council charter Develop and approve DOE-wide December 1995 In process. Policy drafted in training policy September 1996. Draft undergoing review, comment, and comment resolution. ‘The initial target date is the date specified by DOE for completing the activity when the activity was first listed in the strategic plan. bThe Council has been chartered to establish a DOE-wide approach to formulating and executing training within the Department. Responsibilities include establishing DOE’s overall policy and strategies for the education, training, and development of all employees in support of the Department’s mission and vision. 5 GAO/RCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I Table 1.2: Status of DOE’s Activities to Consolidate Proaram Manaaement and Headauarters Supoort for Federal Training Initial target DOE-reportedstatus (as of April 30, Planned activity completion date= 1997) Establish a framework for the November 1996 Completed April 1997 DOE-wide training structure Present to and have approved the January 1997 In process. Draft describing the DOE-wide training structure by the DOE-wide training structure Training and Development undergoing review. Management Council Update and reissue DOE’s June 1997 In process. DOE’s overall strategic strategic training plan plan is being revisited with a new overall plan anticipated by the fall of 1997. It is anticipated that DOE- wide training will become a part of this new overall plan. “The initial target date is the date specified by DOE for completing the activity when the activity was first listed in the strategic plan. 6 GAOLRCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE I. ENCLOSURE I Table 1.3: Status of DOE’s Activities to Standardize the Develooment and Implementation of Federal Trainina Proarams That Have Cross-Cuttina Apolicabilitv Initial target DOE-reported status (as of April 30, Planned activity completion date” 1997) Establish an in-house cadre of November 1995 Completed July 1996 trainers for cross-cutting training Establish qualification December 1995 Completed August 1996 requirements for instructors of cross-cutting training Issue directives and /or December 1995 No longer applicable. The DOE procedures for the standardized team working on implementation of implementation of cross-cutting this activity has determined it to be training too broad in scope.b DOE is considering deleting this activity from the plan. Initiate the implementation of January 1996 No longer applicable. The DOE cross-cutting training activities team working on implementation of this activity has determined it to be too broad in scope.b DOE is considering deleting this activity from the plan. Identify cross-cutting training March 1996 Completed August 1996 courses that will be centrally managed Initiate the validation/approval of June 1996 No longer applicable. The DOE cross-cutting training courses team working on implementation of this activity has determined it to be too broad in scope.b DOE is considering deleting this activity from the plan. Establish standards for the review August 1996 No longer applicable. The DOE and validation of cross-cutting team working on implementation of training courses this activity has determined it to be too broad in scope.b DOE is considering deleting this activity from the plan. 7 GAO/RACED-97-1781 DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I Initial target DOE-reported status (as of April 30, Plannedactivity completion date” 1997) Complete the review of existing September 1996 No longer applicable. The DOE training courses to determine if team working on implementation of they meet cross-cutting training this activity has determined it to be standards too broad in scope.b DOE is considering deleting this activity from the plan. Develop technical qualification October 1996 No longer applicable. Implemented standards for employees receiving under DOE’s technical qualification cross-cutting training program.’ Initiate the revision/development of December 1996 No longer applicable. The DOE cross-cutting training courses team working on implementation of this activity has determined it to be too broad in scope! DOE is considering deleting this activity from the plan. Define the management of cross- December 1996 No longer applicable. The DOE cutting training as a part of the team working on implementation of DOE-wide training structure roles this activity has determined it to be and responsibilities too broad in scope.b DOE is considering deleting this activity from the plan. “The initial target date is the date specified by DOE for completing the activity when the activity was first listed in the strategic plan. bBecause of the large number of training courses offered by various DOE offices, DOE officials told us that they are considering addressing this activity in smaller steps. 7he technical qualification program is designed to identify the qualification standards for those employees (GS-15 and below) performing activities related to management, direction, or oversight that could affect the safe operation of defense nuclear facilities. 8 GAO/RACED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I Table 1.4: Status of DOE’s Activities to Establish Centers of Excellence for Kev Trainina and Develooment Activities Initial target DOE-reported status (as of April 30, Planned activity completion date= 1997) Establish a process and criteria for October 1995 Partially completed. Criteria the selection of Centers of completed September 1996. Excellenceb Criteria validation and process for the nomination and selection of Centers of Excellence is ongoing. Establish the reporting relationship September 1995 In process. Policy drafted and being between the Centers of reviewed. Excellence and the DOE-wide training structure Designate a pilot Center of November 1995 In process. The Center of Excellence Excellence proposal is being evaluated against established criteria. The evaluation is planned to be completed by the end of May 1997. Select additional Centers of March 1996 In process. There are funding Excellence constraints associated with the Centers of Excellence. The target completion date for selecting additional Centers of Excellence is unknown. Fully implement the pilot Center of June 1996 In process. The target date for full Excellence implementation of the pilot Center of Excellence is July 1997. Implement the Lead Site Programc July 1996 Completed May 1996 “The initial target date is the date specified by DOE for completing the activity when the activity was first listed in the strategic plan. bGenerally, a Center of Excellence is an organization that has been selected for its training, development, and technical expertise in a topical area that cuts across the entire Department. 7he Lead Site Program will be used to share, across the Department, the identification and development of the various learning activities needed to support the Technical Qualification Program. All of the competencies contained in the qualifications standards have been grouped 9 GAO/RCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I into 28 topical areas. The topical areas have been assigned to operations offices as lead sites to identify and develop the appropriate learning activities for that topical area. 10 GAO/RCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I Table 1.5: Status of DOE’s Activities to Establish a DOE-Wide Plannina, Budaetina. and Performance Measurement Process for Federal Training Initial target DOE-reportedstatus (as of April 30, Planned activity completion date= 1997) Establish an intra-Department August 1995 Completed June 1996 team to develop planning, budgeting, and performance measurement process Collect baseline training cost datab October 1995 Completed April 1996 Training and Development December 1995 In process. Annual training plan Management Council approves format, budget tracking performance the planning, budgeting, and categories, and standard training performance measurement performance measurements being process reviewed within the Office of Training and Human Resource Development. Implement the new planning, March 1996 In process. The new planning, budgeting, and performance budgeting, and performance measurement process measurement process is scheduled to be submitted to the Training and Management Development Council for approval in June 1997. Establish working groups for the March 1997 In process. DOE’s Office of Training development and implementation and Human Resource Development of fiscal year 1998 Training is taking the lead in establishing the Program Execution Guidance working groups and looking at the DOE-wide training goals. Incorporate the annual planning, October 1997 In process. A revision to DOE budgeting, and performance Order 360.1 on training has been measurement process into the initiated. The new order is expected DOE system of orders to be submitted to the Department’s directive system for review and concurrence by September 1997. ‘The initial target date is the date specified by DOE for completing the activity when the activity was first listed in the strategic plan. bDOE submitted this training cost information to the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, House Committee on Appropriations, in April 1996. 11 GAO/RCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I Table 1.6: Status of DOE’s Activities to lntearate Trainina Schedulina. Reaistration, and Records Manaaement Into a Sinale Svstem Initial target DOE-reportedstatus (as of April 30, ‘Ianned activity completion datea 1997) develop a draft process and December 1995 No longer applicable. Replaced by *equirements for a scheduling, a DOE priority schedule to *egistration, and records implement the scheduling, nanagement system registration, and records management system. Establish an intra-Department March 1996 Completed June 1996 Learn to develop a process and lequirements for a scheduling, registration, and records management system Establish a formal working March 1996 Completed December 1996 relationship with DOE’s Office of Information Management Establish hardware and software March 1996 Completed December 1996 requirements for the scheduling, registration, and records management system Pilot test the scheduling, June 1996 No longer applicable. Replaced by registration, and records a DOE priority schedule to management system at a implement the scheduling, headquarters and a field office registration, and records management system. Establish a distance learning June 1996 Partially completed. A strategic strategic information management information management process process initiative was established. The initiative cannot be undertaken because of funding issues; therefore, current target completion date of September 1997 is tentative. Bring on-line DOE’s training home June 1996 Completed September 1996 page and bulletin board Select the scheduling, registration, October 1996 Completed September 1996 and records management system 12 GAO/RCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I Initial target DOE-reportedstatus (as of April 30, Planned activity completion date= 1997) Fully implement the scheduling, December 1996 In process. DOE plans to fully registration, and records implement the scheduling, management system registration, and records management system by the end of calendar year 1998. Bring on-line DOE’s Universal January 1997 Partially completed. The Universal Catalogb Catalog was brought on-line in October 1996. As of April 30, 1997, training classes from seven sponsoring offices were in the Catalog. Other DOE offices are updating their classes and will be added to the Universal Catalog when submitted. Implement distance learning March 1997 In process. The distance learning initiative can not be undertaken because of funding issues; therefore, current target completion date of September 1997 is tentative. Establish full use of Internet December 1997 No longer applicable. Upon review, technology DOE determined that this activity was a statement of intent and not a specific action. aThe initial target date is the date specified by DOE for completing the activity when the activity was first listed in the strategic plan. bDOE is developing an index known as the Universal Catalog that links training catalogs from DOE sites across the country. DOE intends to have all departmental training catalogs accessible through the Universal Catalog by October 1997. The Universal Catalog will be available through the Internet. 13 GAOIRCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I Table 1.7: Status of Performance Goals Associated With DOE’s December 1996 Strateaic Training Imolementation Plan DOE-reportedstatus (as of April )etformance goal Initial target completion date 30, 1997) 3educe the number of March 1997 This goal has not been met. duplicate DOE and contractor Classes for all sites must first :raining classes by 50 be added to the Universal 3ercent Catalog (scheduled for completion by October 1997) and then some analysis must be done to identify duplicate classes. A new due date for reducing the number of duplicate classes has not been set. Achieve a greater than 50- None specified The goal is unlikely to be percent customer satisfaction achieved this fiscal year, with DOE’s pilot Center of ending in September 1997. Excellence The pilot Center of Excellence is due to be fully functioning in July 1997, and a customer satisfaction survey could possibly be completed by December 1997. Reduce DOE and contractor End of fiscal year 1997 The goal is likely to be training expenditures by 15 partially achieved. Training percent in fiscal year 1997 expenditures in fiscal year 1997 are projected to decrease by about 8 percent. 14 GAO/RCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training .ENCLOSLJRE’II ENCLOSURE II COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Department of Energy Washington, DC 20585 June II, 1997 Mr. Victor S. Rezendes Director, Energy, Resources,and ScienceIssues U.S. GeneralAccounting Ofike Washington,D.C. 20508 Dear Mr. Rezendes: We appreciatethe opportunity to commenton the report titled m of Enerpr Stam of . Train& Immovementhitiativ~ (GAO/RCED-97- 178R). The report focuseson the &MI imphmntation plan drafted in June 1995 and the Department’srecord of resultsagainstthat plan. In response,we believethe report doesnot luy describeour actualaccomplishments aud how we Igaveadaptedthe plan to meetnew cinwnstances and the Department’scontinuing commitmatt to improving the cost &iciency and efFkctivemssof training, educationanddevelopment m3=-. Acoou~~li&ments Under the framework of the training improvementinitiative, comumtly with the sign&ant dohsizhg and reorganihon acdvities of the Departmmt,we have: 0 ReducedDepartmentalmining costsfor federal and contractor emplo&s combiiai from S554millioninN1995toanexpectedexpenditureofS435millioninFYI997,atotalreduction of $119 million (21% - figures include costs of employeetime while in mining). 0 Establisheda pilot Center ofExcellence hr environment8lmanaganenttrahhg, educationad devdopnmt. 0 implementedan lntemet-basedCl~~fOf Training, Eduawiot&andDevdopment that allows red-time accessto mining infarmstion for Federai andcontractor employeesand will have the cap&Sty to match exist@ mining with employeeneedsDeparmumvide. o Documaned trainiq expenditurebaselineinformation in 1996,andupdatedit in 1997,for Federa!and coutractor employees-de. o Completedand put in place personnd tecimical quakhtion standardsto support safeand e&ient Mckar f&&tie operations. o Put in placea core teclmical group which will protide technicaias&am to support implementationof the te&nicai qualification standardsfor Federalpersonndengagedin acthities &ted to nucleararid occupationalsafq. Over 65 percent of the applicablequahhtion requirementshavebeenmet by the 1,800employeesaxed by the requinments o Designated“lead sites” and deployed“lead site” developedstudy guides,computerbased training, andtraining materialsthrough the Clearinghouseto supportthe ted&al qtication of Federalpersonnel. 15 GAO/RCED-97-178R DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSUREII ENCLOSURE II ChanainnCiicumstances.While we havemadesign&ant progressin various componentsofthe original plan, we were unableto meeta numberof the milestonesof the pIan dueto changing cirauns!ances. Theseinciude(1) significant reductions in budget and training perso& resources,(2) the impactof Departmentwidedownsizing and reorganizationinitiatives, and(3) changesin the way the Departmentcontractsfor performance-basedmanagementof our programsand facilities. As a consequence,we electedto mod@ the plan accordingly: o We formally revisedandreissuedthe plan in December19% basedon headquartersand field office concernsand recommendationsabout resourcelimitations and the ability to execute several cross-cutting commitments. o We will reschedulethe customerassessmentof the new pilot Centerof Excellencefor environmentalmanagementearly in 1998to aUowthe Center to operatefor an appropriatelength of time to permit a meaningfulrating processto take place. o We are preparinga programchangeto addressthe overdue initia&e to reducethe numberof ~duphcate federalandcontractor training courses,which will exploit the electronic Universal Training Cataiogue(UNTCAT) being deployedvia the Clearinghouse;the proposalwill be presentedto the Training andDevelopmenth4anagementCouncil in July 1997,andwill build on relatedeffort.9alreadyin progressat most of our sites. o We have integratedthe original proposedtraining information systeminitiative into the new DepartmentalCorporateHumanbsource Information System(CHRIS) which is now being deployedthroughout the compla 0 We analyzedthe technologiesavailableto support an expansionof our current dikance 1-g capabiities and concludedthey are not cost-efkctke in the nearterm o We are currently working,to include spec& trait&g and humanresourcedevelopmentactions into the Dcpamnent’snew strategicplan to be compktecl in September1997. Meet&Additional N& While completing sign&ant ekments of the.improvementplan, we havealso hadto meetadditionaldemandsand restraints: o To support careertrdtion programswe have put in place careertransition centera,provided c.areerplanningandretkememsen&ua, and instituted mentoting programsto assistredeployed and t&be-separatedemployees&c&d by workf+e restructuring anddowns&g. o In responseto Congressionailymandatedcontract reform, we havt designedand deliverednew prcxarementand project managementcourses. o At the sametime, wehave adjustedto having signiticamly fewa Federalemployeesand programresourcesavailableto designand deliver training programs. Next St- The Department’scommitmentto redesigningtrain@ developmentand deiivery has not diminished: o The Training andDevelopmentManagementCouncil will meetin July 1997to review program progressto dateandto a&m our new goals. o We wilJ have two designatedtrain& Centersof Excellenceby Decaber 1997,and will continueto developthem asmodelsfor other Departmentwideorgakations. 16 GAO/RCED-97-178B DOE’s Efforts to Improve Training ENCLOSURE II ENCLOSURE II o We are definingthe requirementsfor the training information systemmoduleunderCHRIS to be ableto move asquicldy as possibleto implementationDepartment-wide. o We will close “SAI-44: A Corporate Approach to Training”, sad issuea revisedtraining improvementplan for FY 1998aad FY 1999 in support of the Department’snew strategicplan. The new traiaing improvemeatplan will be the startiag point for impiementiaga morefocused initiative for FY 1998andFY 1999. If you have any questionsconcerningtheseis&s, please coatact ThomasW. Evans,Director, Of&e of Trainiag and HumanResourceDevelopmenton 202426-l 506. Archer L. Durham As&taat’Secretary for Humaa Resourcesaad Adminisaatioa (141057) GAOIBCED-97-178B DOE’s Efforts to Improve Traiaiag 17 Ordering Information The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. Additional copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the following address, accompanied by a check or money order made out to the Superintendent of Documents, when necessary. VISA and Mastercard credit cards are accepted, also. Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. Orders by mail: U.S. General Accounting Office P.O. Box 6015 Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015 or visit: Room 1100 700 4th St. NW (corner of 4th and G Sts. NW) U.S. General Accounting Office Washington, DC Orders may also be placed by calling (202) 512-6000 or by using fax number (301) 258-4066, or TDD (301) 413-0006. Each day, GAO issues a list of newly available reports and testimony. 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Department of Energy: Status of DOE's Efforts to Improve Training
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-06-27.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)