Bill would give agencies more hiring clout

Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio plans to introduce work force legislation this month that will combine his Federal Human Capital Act of 2001, S 1603, with the Federal Employee Management Reform Act of 2001, S 1639, which he drew up at the request of the administration.

Voinovich introduced the human capital act last October, outlining options for agencies that must deal with a loss of employees.

The new bill would let agencies offer buyouts to current workers if they want to hire people with more relevant experience.

It also outlines retention initiatives and creates a chief human capital officer in charge of work force issues.

The implication of the bill is that every agency should be prepared for a sudden exodus of its work force, said a staff member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

Slipping through cracks

'There are holes across the government,' he said. 'You have little things that slip through the cracks, and you go from there to national security to Social Security.'

The House has been considering how to dismantle the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which has only 2,000 border guards to monitor entry into the United States, he said.

Voinovich said the initiatives included in his bill to recruit and retain qualified employees would 'make it possible to convince more IT professionals that the federal government is a great place to pursue a career.'

The new bill would make hiring a more qualitative process and would allow more input from the managers who need the workers.

Most agencies have examining units, which can rate candidates without having to go through the Office of Personnel Management.

Perfect 10

The units rank resumes, qualifications and background information from the candidates. In case of tied scores, agency leaders can break ties by arbitrary variables such as Social Security numbers.

'It hardly seems fair,' said the staff member. 'In a particularly large group, it's especially unfair.'

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