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:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

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