Agencies could make smarter training program investments, watchdog finds

Thinkstock

The Office of Personnel Management could do a better job guiding agencies on investing in training programs to avoid ineffective and duplicative efforts, a new report finds.

The Government Accountability Office reviewed the processes that chief human capital officers use to establish and prioritize such investments, as well as OPM’s directions. The report found that CHCOs and OPM could improve their efforts in overseeing training decisions.

“Many CHCOs reported they are not implementing some practices that support making more cost-effective training investment decisions, such as prioritizing training so that the most important needs are met first and evaluating the benefits of training,” GAO wrote. The report also found that CHCOs often don’t have enough information from other agency leaders regarding investment levels and priorities, leading to duplicative investments.

The office guides agencies on how to submit training investment data “but considers this data to be unreliable because it is incomplete,” GAO wrote.

“OPM officials have not internally assessed improvements in the completeness of the data over the last three years, or the quality of the data in the six years that agencies have been required to submit it, and have only provided agencies with one summary of their data for correction,” the report stated.

Agencies and OPM told GAO that duplicative investments can be reduced. A website that OPM administers -- HR University -- has saved $14.5 million by sharing human resources instruction across the government. GAO recommended in its report that OPM expand HR University to include the best existing courses that fulfill governmentwide training requirements.

OPM fully or partially concurred with four recommendations. It did not concur with a portion of another, stating that HR University was created primarily to serve the needs of human resources professionals. “It is not the mission of HR University to be a centralized source of training and development across other functional or occupational areas,” OPM Associate Director of Employee Services Angela Bailey wrote in response to the GAO report.

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

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

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

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