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The Need For Civil Service Reforms – Plus The 7 Gov Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Every day on the DorobekINSIDER program we try to tell good government stories to help you do your job better. Today we get to highlight a program that is helping people do their jobs better by showing the power of partnerships; it’s an awesome program called Voyagers. Voyagers is part of the Industry Advisory Council in the American Council on Technology (ACT-IAC). Chris Dorobek sat down with two Voyager fellows to talk about how the program got started and how it is making a difference in government.

You can find all of our programs online: DorobekINSIDER.com and GovLoop Insights at http://insights.govloop.com.

But up front: The need for a civil service reforms

Most people acknowledge the federal government’s civil service system is broken. It is woefully inadequate for the challenges of the 21st century and it is one of the big impediments to creating the best government possible. That is assessment coming from a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton

The work of government has changed. The way we work and the skills needed have changed. And the world has changed. Our civil service system has not kept pace. To cope, some agencies, many of whom experienced a crisis, were able to cut their own deals with Congress that enable them to operate under separate systems, with higher pay rates and more hiring flexibilities. The result is a patchwork quilt of “have” and “have not” agencies, where government competes with itself for high-caliber employees instead of approaching talent at a strategic, enterprise level on behalf of all of government.

In the new report, “Building the Enterprise: A New Civil Service Framework,” [PDF] the Partnership for Public Service calls for major reforms to the federal government’s decades-old civil service system and lays out a plan to modernize areas that include the outdated pay and hiring policies.

“Our nation’s civil service system is a relic of a bygone era,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “Our nation’s leadership must make it a priority to create a civil service system that our public servants deserve and that will produce the results our country needs.”

Produced in collaboration with Booz Allen Hamilton, the comprehensive report calls the federal personnel system, the foundation for effective government, obsolete and in crisis, and an obstacle rather than an aid in attracting, hiring, retaining and developing top talent.

The report calls for overhauling the entire civil service system, including pay, performance management, hiring, job classification, accountability and workplace justice, and the Senior Executive Service, the nation’s career leadership corps.

Reports from The Washington Post; GovExec; Federal Computer Week; and Federal News Radio.

We will be talking to the authors of the report in the days ahead.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Politico: Supreme Court strikes down aggregate campaign giving limits – “In the 5-4 ruling, the court’s Republican-appointed justices joined in overturning the so-called aggregate limits on the grounds that they violated the First Amendment, while the Democratic appointees dissented — insisting that the caps were constitutional as a means to guard against corruption and circumvention of the still-valid limits on donations to individual campaigns and political committees.”

  2. NextGov: Obamacare Clears 7 Million Sign-ups – “Clearing 7 million sign-ups is a big political victory for the White House—and the total will continue to grow before official enrollment numbers are released later this month. The 7 million figure does not include people who enrolled Monday through state-based exchanges, Carney said, and people who were “in line” for the federal exchange by midnight will be allowed to complete the enrollment process.”

  3. Washington Business Journal: Federal employment in D.C. drops below 200,000 – “Not since September 2009, when the federal government shifted its hiring into high gear in response to the Great Recession, has employment been this low — 199,600 as of January, according to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

  4. Washington Business Journal: Department of the Interior getting smaller with move to out of Washington, DC and to the suburbs – The Department of the Interior will become the latest agency to trim down as part of a planned move from Herndon to Sterling.

  5. New York Times: North Carolina: Duke Energy Wants Citizens Groups Barred from Complaint – “Duke Energy is asking a judge to prevent citizens groups from taking part in any action that would make it clean up nearly three dozen coal ash pits in the state.”

  6. Federal News Radio: Secret Service chief seeks to reassure senators – “The latest embarrassing episode involving a drunken Secret Service agent overseas for a presidential trip was an isolated incident, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson said Tuesday.”

  7. Federal News Radio: VA’s disability claims backlog down by 44 percent, but problems remain – “The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has reached a tipping point in its ongoing effort to eliminate its backlog of disability claims: The backlog is 44 percent smaller than it was a year ago. VA observers and overseers say there are several problems with the way VA is measuring success.”

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder… yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too…

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DorobekINSIDER: 6 Reasons Silicon Valley Can't Fix Government • GovLoop

[…] Hiring… and firing: It is way too difficult to hire the best people, pay them well… and, by contrast, get rid of people who are not performing. (See the challenges with measurement above… furthermore see the story below in the DorobekINSIDER water cooler fodder about the challenges in getting an Ebola czar in place — the hiring process didn’t allow it.) Kudos to the Partnership for Public Service for coming the closest to making suggestions for reformi…. […]

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