Improving Training at Your Agency Just Got A Lot Easier

GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Two federal agencies announced on Monday a joint effort to boost training and other human capital services for agencies across government, saying the move would save money and improve human resources support.

The Office of Personnel Management has partnered with the General Services Administration to create a contract vehicle that will ease the process for agencies to hire private companies for HR consulting. While OPM and GSA are still finalizing the details of the arrangement, a memorandum of understanding signed Monday spelled out a system that eases agencies away from the acquisition process for their human capital needs.

The strategically sourced initiative is “really going to allow us to focus less on acquisition activity and more on program activity,” said GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini, at a press conference to mark the signing.

In the partnership, GSA will focus primarily on the acquisition side, while OPM will provide subject matter expertise on the program, using its Human Resources Services office to investigate potential vendors’ qualifications and later helping match agencies with an organization that fits their specific requirements.

“We are teaming up to give agencies a more efficient, a more reliable and a more effective way to get the best available training and human capital resources for federal employees,” OPM Director Katherine Archuleta said. “We are marrying the strengths GSA has when it comes to negotiating and carrying out contracts with OPM’s expertise in human capital and training needs.”

The program “reflects current budget realities,” she said, but ultimately the program will aim to better meet the training needs of the 21st century workforce, not just save costs by reducing acquisition redundancies. 

The initiative will get acquisition “out of the way of training so more [training] can be had,” Tangherlini said, “and it can be delivered at a better value.” OPM’s Human Resources Services division itself shed 300 employees earlier this year.

The joint venture reflects the management agenda laid out in President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget. His plan called on agencies to “share services and leverage the buying power of the government to bring greater value and efficiency for taxpayer dollars.” Obama said his budget “invests in the government’s most important resource, its workers, ensuring that we can attract and retain the best talent in the federal workforce and foster a culture of excellence.”

“Today’s announcement of the GSA and OPM partnership to improve how we buy human resources services and training is great news for the taxpayer,” Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Beth Cobert said. “By leveraging the core competencies of these agencies, we will reduce redundancy, increase administrative efficiencies and realize cost savings.”

Archuleta, who was sworn in on Nov. 5, 2013, said she met with Tangherlini in her first few days on the job and the training acquisition partnership was the first cooperative idea the pair came up with. The OPM director said she hoped the initiative was the “first of…many areas where OPM and GSA can collaborate together to bring efficiencies to government.” 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.