Report warns that weakening federal workforce puts the nation at risk
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Feb 05, 2019
Federal researchers are concerned with the federal government’s ability to effectively combat a major crisis because of a “weakening” federal workforce and its organizational structures.
A January study by the Senior Executives Association, titled, “Are Declines in U.S. Federal Workforce Capabilities Putting Our Government at Risk of Failing?” identified several themes that are impacting the federal government’s capabilities, including low morale, vacancies, hiring and retention deficiencies; all of which the researchers say is putting the nation and risk.
The researchers examined federal workforce trends given in about several dozen potential scenarios, ranging events that will certainly occur within the next year--such as natural disaster-- to other scenarios that are highly plausible.
According to the report: “As researchers our intent is not to make a case for a larger U.S. federal government. What we are concerned with are the capabilities of our nation’s public service to respond effectively to crises. This may be achieved by addressing concerns unrelated to size, including remedying decreasing morale, addressing the challenges created by increasing politicization on what should be non-partisan activities, and updating legacy processes to be more effective in the digital era.”
The report noted that no major civil service rules for recruiting, hiring and retention of the Federal workforce in 40 years, which predates the internet.
“Looking at these staffing dynamics across agencies, the prospects are even bleaker,” the report states, adding,
“Government contractors, widely used to plug the holes in our government, can only take up so much of the slack.”
The report calls for the federal government to modernize the civil service system in order to address issue.
“As a whole, this study seeks to contribute to a badly needed national conversation about what Americans think their government should have the capacity to do, especially in the face of severe stresses to our nation and collective future,” according to a report.
Read the full report here.