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

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Performance & Accountability Reports (PARS)

Strategic Plan 2002-2007

Photo of a hand with a US flag

Context of the Strategic Plan

The President’s Management Agenda is designed to create a citizen-centered, results-oriented and market-based Government. Its five Governmentwide initiatives address the functional weaknesses of the current system and will produce more effective programs and greater satisfaction among the American people when implemented.

The foundation of the system is the merit principles that inspire an honest and dedicated workforce. They form the cornerstone of the values that govern human capital management systems. These principles are flexible, capable of adapting to the human capital marketplace, yet unyielding in expectations of performance and rewards.

As of April 30, 2002, there are 3,615 federal workers employed by the Office of Personnel Management, including 2,563 full time employees, 322 part time employees and 730 intermittent employees.

The President’s Management Agenda

The Initiative

The priorities of the President’s management reform initiative are to make government citizen-centered, results-oriented and market-based. Five Governmentwide initiatives have been selected to help achieve this reform.

1. The strategic management of human capital

2. Competitive sourcing

3. Improved financial performance

4. Budget and performance integration

5. Expanded electronic Government

OPM has the responsibility to improve the strategic management of human capital, necessary for implementation of the other initiatives.

The Values of the Merit System

Federal personnel management should be implemented consistent with the following merit system principles:

1. Recruitment should be from qualified individuals from appropriate sources;

2. All employees and applicants for employment should receive fair and equitable consideration;

3. Equal pay should be provided for work of equal value;

4. All employees should maintain high standards of integrity, conduct and concern for the public interest;

5. The Federal workforce should be used efficiently and effectively;

6. Employees should be retained on the basis of adequacy of their performance;

7. Employees should be provided effective education and training;

8. Employees should be

(a) protected against arbitrary action, personal favoritism or coercion for partisan political purposes;

(b) prohibited from using their official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for election; and

9. Employees should be protected against reprisal for the lawful disclosure of information.

Human Resources and Human Capital

Both terms are used in this plan. Good management in human resources means processes are working well and employees are engaged in decision-making and treated fairly. Good leadership in human capital means the Federal Government is a great place to work, employees are capable and inspired and they perform in a manner that gets the results the American public expect.

Human capital is a more recent term that captures the value of employees as assets and not as costs of an organization. Assets are invested in while costs are reduced. In this plan, OPM lays out a strategy to achieve the human capital objectives through effective human resources management systems.

Plan Development

This new Strategic Plan was developed in accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 and subsequent guidance from the Office of Management and Budget contained in OMB Circular A-11 (June 2002). An initial draft was prepared by Federal employees, provided to Congress and circulated to a wide range of stakeholders in and out of Government.

In developing the goals for this plan, OPM addressed human capital objectives. For instance, OPM policy and guidance will be developed by teams skillful and knowledgeable across functions such as recruitment and classification, rather than by stovepiped areas of expertise. That way, the impact of policy development in one area will be fully understood and accounted for in other areas. Also, with technical assistance and assessment, Federal departments and agencies will be better served with "one-stop-shopping" and not have to go to different components of OPM for their needs.

This integrated approach results in a new definition of our goals. Our previous goals to 1) lead in shaping human resources policy; 2) protect values and principles; 3) serve through technical assistance; and 4) safeguard the trust funds, have been fully integrated into this new plan. Our current Goal 1 strengthens the shaping of human resources policy to include the use and effectiveness of these policies in meeting agencies’ missions. We have combined our former second and third goals into our current Goal 2 because effective assistance and assessment go hand-in-hand. Our new Goal 3 continues to be safeguarding the trust funds.

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