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Report warns that weakening federal workforce puts the nation at risk

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.

Reader comments

Wed, Feb 13, 2019 Sergio CA

There is another outfit in SSA in CA. Also, within the organization at a subcomponent OHO of SSA. Unreliable, lazy management that wouldn't think twice of taking credit for others completed tasks and then drop the blame on you if it is not done right.

Tue, Feb 12, 2019

Even as a federal employee when one excelled at what they did, the minion self-serving manager would get the credit, under the table bonuses and other non-disclosed perks while the employee was treated as a grunt. I actually had more recognition as a contract staff employee.

Mon, Feb 11, 2019

I was taught as a contractor that job number one was to make the customer (manager) look good. Sometimes it was really, really hard

Mon, Feb 11, 2019

Poor pay, even worse management, and constant interference by ignorant or politically motivated elected officials and we wonder why nobody want to come? Please...

Mon, Feb 11, 2019

Previous administrations Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama and this current administration's policies have gutted the civil service and what it means to be a productive federal employee working to assist the nation. Lack of pay raises, bias in general and poor management have added to the decline and no one in congress or senate has any interest in reversing this trend. Look at McConnel's antifederal employee bellowing.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
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