GovLaunch: There’s plenty of room at the top at DHS

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    The Department of Homeland Security has more vacancies in the Senior Executive Service than any other department, according to the Government Accountability Office.

    GovExec reports that the congressional watchdog recently released a report that says retaining SESers has been a problem since the agency was created.

    DHS had statistically significant higher rates of senior-level vacancies in fiscal 2006, 2007 and 2010, with a peak of 25 percent of SES jobs empty in fiscal 2006. The rates of vacancies were not statistically different from other federal agencies in 2008 and 2009, however. The Office of Personnel Management allocated 90 new SES positions to Homeland Security in October 2009, causing the vacancy rate to fluctuate between 8.4 percent and 20.7 percent during fiscal 2010. While the agency closed fiscal 2010 with 17 percent of senior positions unfilled, other agencies had an average vacancy rate of 9 percent. By end of fiscal 2011, DHS’ senior executive openings had decreased to about 10 percent.”

    FEMA and the TSA had the highest vacancy rates within the department, the report continues.

    GAO did not provide specific recommendations, but DHS said they are continuing to work to fill the vacancies and are sharing the lessons learned from the process with other agencies.

    What do you think DHS and others can do to attract SESers?

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