We are committed to the use of evaluation data to assess the value of our policies, programs, products and services, and their impact on improving Federal human capital management in line with the President’s objectives for significant management reform. Our evaluation agenda includes a strategy for new evaluation methods and formal program evaluations conducted within OPM, as well as the continued use of the rich evaluation information developed by the external groups whose reports and assessments were included in the creation of this Strategic Plan. We will also continue to supplement these evaluation studies with our ongoing collection of survey data and informal feedback gathered through our continuing contact with Federal agency appointees, executives, and managers who are part of the President’s Management Council, the Human Resources Management Council, Federal Executive Boards, unions, and the many networks we have established across Government. Finally, we actively encourage and use the input that we receive from our interaction with organizations representing veterans, minorities, people with disabilities, as well as think tanks, academic institutions, and good government groups who are focused on improving the management and the perception of Government.
A New Evaluation Strategy for Human Resources Management and Human Capital Policies
The President’s Management Agenda challenges OPM to more effectively and efficiently lead human capital efforts across the Federal Government. We must develop useful outcome measures that assess the contributions of OPM to its customers and citizens.
During FY 2003, two projects will be initiated to develop and measure outcomes. The first project will develop and test an empirical model to assess and evaluate human resources policies (in accord with Goal 1 of OPM’s Strategic Plan). The second will develop a Compliance Index that allows an assessment of merit system principles and human capital practices across Federal agencies (in accord with Goal 2 of OPM’s Strategic Plan). For FY 2004, both projects will be fully operational as regular features of OPM’s efforts to ensure and improve policy development and service delivery by measuring strategic outcomes.
Modeling Human Capital Practices
To date, most surveys conducted by OPM have principally focused either on HR personnel in Federal agencies or the general workforce. In the main, they have assessed performance by comparing various measures of satisfaction reported by experimental and control groups. Building on previous studies and expertise, the current initiative will address the impact of policies affecting recruitment, performance and retention, and satisfaction with them. The initiative, for example, will take advantage of the annual Government-wide Survey (GWS), surveys of managers, inventories of alternative personnel systems and other initiatives that strive to ensure policies leading to a quality and highly motivated workforce aligned with agency mission throughout the Federal Government.
We will develop an empirical, multivariate model that will provide a basis for assessing the efficacy of various human resources policies. The model will specifically consider, with appropriate controls, the underlying explanatory dimensions of alternative policies as they contribute to a quality workforce. The key components of the effort will be directed toward recruitment, performance, and retention-related policies, their impact, and managers’ satisfaction with them.
We will develop a Compliance Index to ensure that Federal agencies abide by Merit System principles. The index will be longitudinal and constructed from existing OPM Central Personnel Data File (CPDF) information and complemented by other appropriate data gathering strategies designed to isolate key factors affecting overall merit system compliance. The purpose of the index is to provide agency and Government-wide metrics concerning the degree to which Federal agencies ensure Merit System Principles are observed. Once tested, the index will be used as a standardized frame of reference for tracking the outcomes of OPM’s oversight activities and the effectiveness of agency efforts to ensure human capital accountability.
In addition to the new effort, OPM will continue to use a variety of external and internal program evaluations as well as survey results and informal evaluation information obtained from discussions with key stakeholders. Among the most important sources considered are:
"An organization needs a good idea and a good product or a good service. It certainly needs a good strategic plan. But more than anything, it needs good people — men and women of integrity, who understand their duties to each other and to the public interest."
President George W. Bush, Malcolm Baldridge Award Ceremony, March 7, 2002.