Human Capital: Preliminary Observations on Proposed DHS Human Capital Regulations: GAO-04-479T

Walker, David M.
February 2004
GAO Reports;2/25/2004, p1
Government Document
As we testified on the DOD civilian personnel reforms, the bottom line for additional performance-based pay flexibility is that an agency should have to demonstrate that it has a modern, effective, credible, and as appropriate, validated performance management system in place with adequate safeguards, including reasonable transparency and appropriate accountability mechanisms, to ensure fairness and prevent politicalization and abuse of employees. To this end, DHS's proposed regulations take another valuable step towards results-oriented pay reform and modem performance management. DHS's performance management system is intended to align individual performance to DHS's success, hold employees responsible for accomplishing performance expectations; provide for meaningful distinctions in performance through performance- and market-based payouts, and be fair, credible, and transparent. However, the experiences of leading organizations suggest that DHS should require core, and as appropriate, validated competencies in its performance management system. The core competencies can serve to reinforce employee behaviors and actions that support the DHS mission, goals, and values and to set expectations for individuals' roles in DHS's transformation, creating a shared responsibility for organizational success and ensuring accountability for change. DHS should also continue to build safeguards into its revised human capital system. DHS's overall effort to design a strategic human capital management system can be particularly instructive for future human capital management and reorganization efforts within specific units of DHS. Its effort can also prove instructive as other agencies design and implement new authorities for human capital management. Mr. Chairman, Madam Chairwoman, and Members of the Subcommittees, this concludes my prepared statement. I would be pleased to respond to any questions that you may have.


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