Human Capital: Citizen-centered, Results-oriented, and Market-based
This past August I reported on the progress we are making Government-wide implementing the Strategic Management of Human Capital Initiative of the President's Management Agenda. In that report I discussed steps OPM is taking to lead the way in transforming workplaces and the successes that agencies have already achieved in critical areas such as succession planning, performance management, and closing skill and competency gaps.
Looking back on the entire fiscal year, I am encouraged more than ever by the impact human capital strategies are having on the Federal workforce. When the President directed OPM to lead the first initiative of the President's reform agenda, words such as "high risk," "deficient," and "weak" were used to describe the state of the Federal workforce. Today, 1.8 million employees are part of a workforce that is truly citizen-centered, results-oriented, and market-based. As the President stated in his introductory message to Congress on his reform agenda. ". . . [T]here are few items more urgent than ensuring that the Federal Government is well run and results-oriented." I am proud to say that we, as a Government, are meeting the President's challenge. The achievement of Federal agencies in the strategic management of human capital is an important element of our success.
Looking forward to the next four years, I expect that our achievements to date will form a strong foundation for the next generation of breakthrough accomplishments. Initiatives in identifying skills and competency gaps will result in better talent for the Federal Government, especially in mission critical occupations and in management. Performance management systems will link pay with performance Government-wide. Federal managers will be fully prepared through effective succession planning and competency development to lead in the new results-driven culture. A lean, fast, effective and competitive hiring process, using all the right flexibilities, will continue to assure that the right people are in the right jobs at the right time.
To underscore our commitment to the next generation of Human Capital accomplishment, OPM is adding two expectations to the scorecard for Strategic Management of Human Capital. Beginning in the first quarter of FY 2005, the scorecard will include:
- Clarification that performance appraisal systems need to have multiple ratings to adequately distinguish among performance levels; and
- A new requirement that agencies establish goals to accelerate their hiring timeframes, monitor progress, and implement needed improvements.
At the same time that we attend to these core Human Capital commitments, I know all agencies join OPM in focusing on emergency preparedness, our overarching challenge in the post-September 11 world. We must be vigilant and steadfast in providing for the safety of our employees and their families with two goals in mind: assuring that essential Federal operations can continue to serve the American people in the face of any emergency; and assuring our employees that they can count on the Federal Government to prepare them and care for them in emergencies.
On the same front, I want to reaffirm our commitment to those in our Nation's armed forces on active duty. As our troops return from their deployments, the Federal Government is prepared to support their transition to civilian life by being receptive, accessible, and accommodating in meeting their life needs.
Our full report on Human Capital progress is at http://apps.opm.gov/humancapital/stories/. Please take time to review it, and join me in taking a bow for all that we have achieved together.
Kay Coles James
U.S. Office of Personnel Management