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U.S. Office of Personnel Management - Ensuring the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce

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Current Federal Culture

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"In every program, and in every agency, we are measuring success not by good intentions, or by dollars spent, but rather by results achieved." President George W. Bush

The current focus of the Government on good management, driven by both the President and Congress, is unprecedented. Greater attention is being paid to efficient and economic delivery of services to the American public. Consequently, Government agencies are transforming their workplaces to focus on:

  • Performance of the agency as a whole and of individual employees
  • Measurable, observable agency and individual performance results.

Both the President and Congress recognize the Federal workforce is central to the delivery of services to the American public. People are the key to mission accomplishment. The President and congress have singled out strategic human capital management (i.e., the selection, development, training, and management of a high quality workforce in compliance with merit system principles) as one of the cornerstone initiatives to improve program performance across the Government.

Consistent with the leadership of the President and Congress, the American people continue to expect more from Government, and the Government is responding. The foundation for significant change in the American Civil Service was the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Act of 2002PDF File and in new personnel systems for such agencies as the:

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the DHS Human Resources Management System
  • Department of Defense, the National Security Personnel System (NSPS).

The Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004PDF File added even more strategies to support this change. Over time, the principles and performance expectations behind these new systems, still firmly grounded in merit system principles, will expand to the rest of the Civil Service. The underlying expectation for all these changes is strategic human capital management will ensure agency mission requirements drive all human resource activity and all agency staff contribute directly to achieving agency results and are rewarded accordingly.

The need for strategic human capital management, with its emphasis on achieving results, is part of a continuing evolution of traditional human resources management (HRM) practices in Government.

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