Budget office predicts hiring reforms would cost $40 million

The Congressional Budget Office estimates federal hiring reforms would cost about $40 million over the next five years -- a bargain, according to supporters.

"It sounds like we could easily get a great return on that investment," said John Palugta, vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service, which has long advocated hiring reforms. "So I'm encouraged by that."

The 2009 Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act, S. 736, would streamline the hiring process and eliminate the knowledge, skills and assessment portion of the online job application process. In addition, it would require agencies to be more proactive about filling vacancies and to draw up workforce development plans.

In a recent report on the bill, CBO said agencies would spend about $40 million from 2010 to 2015 -- mostly to gather and analyze hiring statistics to identify their staffing needs and to submit reports to Congress.

"Most of the provisions of S. 736 would codify and expand the current recruiting and hiring practices of most federal agencies and would not significantly increase the costs of carrying out those activities," the report stated.

Although the report does not mention possible savings through hiring reforms, Palguta said he expected there would be long-term rewards for the short-term investment.

"When you're dealing with people issues, it's difficult to quantify," he said.

As the bill moves through Congress -- it was approved by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on July 29 -- the Office of Personnel Management plans to implement some of the provisions through administrative action.

In another report, CBO predicted legislation that added a Roth investment option to the Thrift Savings Plan will bring in about $2.5 billion in new tax revenues during the next 10 years. The provision was tucked in a larger bill, H.R. 1256, which gave the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate the tobacco industry.

The Roth account allows participants to pay taxes on their TSP contributions initially, so they can withdraw their funds tax-free upon retirement. Because these participants would otherwise be making tax-free contributions, the implementation of a Roth account will give the government a short-term windfall of tax revenue. This initial influx of cash will help pay for FDA's mandates under the legislation, and will leave enough left over to decrease the deficit by about $1 billion between 2010 and 2019, according to CBO.

The report does not estimate the cost to the government when participants withdraw tax-free funds from their Roth accounts.

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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • 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.

  • 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.


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