A flurry of HR LOB activity

Task force readies private-sector RFP, additional guidance for agencies

Norm Enger

The government's efforts to consolidate human resources functions are moving into high gear.

Over the next several weeks, the HR Line of Business interagency task force'led by the Office of Personnel Management'will issue additional requirements that agencies and private companies must meet to be considered HR shared-services providers. OPM also will release performance metrics that will anchor service-level agreements and a formal solicitation asking the private sector to get in the game.

Norm Enger, director of e-government programs at OPM, said last week that the flurry of activity demonstrates that the HR LOB has and will continue to dramatically reshape how the government performs human resources.

'Agencies will have a choice'they can shop around for services,' he said at a breakfast in Washington sponsored by market research firm Input of Reston, Va.

Almost a year ago, the 11-agency LOB task force selected the first five public SSPs, or centers of excellence'the Treasury, Defense and Health and Human Services Departments, the Interior Department's National Business Center and the Agriculture Department's National Finance Center.

The solicitation will likely be out in about two months and underscores the administration's approach to outsourcing certain non-governmental functions. 'This administration is very private-sector oriented,' Enger said.

The Office of Management and Budget has been encouraging agencies to consider the private sector when mulling whether to sign up with an SSP.

Before the solicitation hits the streets, the HR task force will issue expanded target requirements for SSPs and a performance reference model that will measure the quality of service that agency customers are receiving, Enger said.

The PRM'which was not available at press time'will measure how a service provider performs its work, including response times to questions and other support functions. It will be rolled into the service-level agreements providers will sign with their customer agencies, Enger said.

In September, the task force will release an updated and more thorough version of HR LOB target requirements, which will outline the functions that a company or agency must meet to be considered an SSP, he said.

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