Panel questions proposal to cut some FEVS questions

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is looking askance at plans to cut the number of questions in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.

In a bipartisan letter to Office of Personnel Management acting Director Beth Cobert, the panel expressed fears that an OPM proposal to reduce the number of required questions in the survey may hinder Congress’s ability to obtain data necessary to inform its oversight and reform of federal agencies.

According to the letter, the oversight committee in particular “takes great interest in the annual results and survey long-term trends.”

“Certain questions currently prescribed in regulation may benefit from refinement or clarification,” the lawmakers wrote, “but a drastic change, such as the one proposed in OPM’s new rule, is unnecessary.”

“You should continue to ask the survey questions currently mandated by regulation with minimal clarifying edits in the 2017 FEVS, and in future editions of the FEVS,” the letter continued. “Your agency should also maintain questions currently asked in the FEVS but not necessarily codified in regulation that are used to measure employee engagement and satisfaction. Doing so will allow Congress to help federal employees by collecting the information we need regarding their morale, engagement and satisfaction.”

Reader comments

Mon, Nov 21, 2016

Less questions means less to answer for. There is little evidence that management actually, constructively, use the survey results.

Mon, Nov 21, 2016 San Diego, CA

I find myself surprised that I am in complete agreement with the committee on this topic. As a student of Organizational Leadership with a Master's topic of The future Development of Federal Employees, I utilized the FEVS extensively. During my research I studied the survey, its questions, history, and quantitative procedures. I was very impressed and look forward to the trends that can be identified and studied by maintaining consistency of questions etc into the future. Thank you

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
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