Congressional Testimony

113th Congress

Partnership Testifies on “Management Matters: Creating a 21st Century Government—Part II, Outside Views”

On Monday, March 31, Partnership President and CEO Max Stier testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs about the management challenges facing our federal government.

In his testimony, Stier applauded the work that OMB is doing to improve government management and offered several ways in which Congress could augment these efforts. Specifically, Stier urged Congress to reduce the number of vacancies in critical management positions, focus on oversight of policy and programs before there is a problem, hold agency leaders accountable for managing people well and reform the civil service system. Stier also talked about the importance of treating government as a single enterprise and developing and managing career executives who serve as enterprise-wide assets.

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Partnership Testifies on “Help Wanted at DHS: Implications of Leadership Vacancies on the Mission and Morale”

On Thursday, December 12, Partnership President and CEO, Max Stier, testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security about employee morale at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In his testimony, Stier discussed the impact of leadership vacancies on employee satisfaction and commitment at DHS and offered four key recommendations: strengthen leadership capacity, invest in leadership training and development, evaluate current efforts to improve morale and take necessary steps to improve results and work in partnership with the labor unions.

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112th Congress

Partnership Testifies on Investing in an Effective Federal Workforce

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, Partnership President and CEO, Max Stier, testified at Senator Akaka’s final federal workforce hearing before his retirement entitled “Investing in an Effective Federal Workforce”.

In addition to thanking Sen. Akaka for his commitment to federal employees and leadership in the Senate, Stier shared progress to date on key reform efforts including hiring reform, the new Pathways Programs, SES reform and telework. In his statement, Stier also called for civil service reform, saying we currently have a “once in a generation opportunity to rethink the way government operates.”

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Partnership Testifies on Efforts to Strengthen the Federal HR Workforce
 
As part of Public Service Recognition Week, the Senate Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee held a hearing on May 9, 2012, to examine how the federal government can build and maintain an effective HR workforce. John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, testified on behalf of the Partnership.
 
In his testimony, Palguta discussed the critical need for developing a highly-competent HR workforce and outlined the current challenges the HR workforce is facing as it operates in a budget-constrained environment. He highlighted positive efforts that are under way, including the creation of HR University, and stresses the need for OPM, federal leaders across government and Congress to pay additional attention to these issues.

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The Partnership Testifies on "Building One DHS: Why is Employee Morale Low?"

On March 22, 2012, Partnership President and CEO, Max Stier, testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight on employee morale at the Department of Homeland Security.

In his testimony, Stier discussed the Department of Homeland Security's 2011 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® ranking. Stier noted the department's continued struggle to increase its scores and offered case studies from other agencies as a guide toward improvement. He also made several recommendations to Congress on ways to strengthen leadership and management at the department, including increasing senior executive mobility opportunities, converting managerial positions from politically appointed to career positions, increasing accountability and improving data collection by making it more timely.

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The Partnership Testifies on "Why Reshuffling Government Agencies Won't Solve the Federal Government's Obesity Problem"

On February 15, 2012, Partnership President and CEO, Max Stier, testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on federal government reform and reorganization.

In his testimony, Stier identified eight budget reduction strategies and four key cross-cutting conditions that are integral to the success of any downsizing effort. Stier also recommend a series of questions that this Committee, and Congress as a whole, should consider when reviewing government reorganization proposals.

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The Partnership Testifies on "Inspiring Students to Federal Service"
On June 21, 2011, Partnership Vice President for Education and Outreach, Tim McManus, testified before the Senate Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee on efforts to inspire more students into federal service. In his testimony, McManus praised OPM and the Administration for their efforts to improve student programs and entry-level talent pipelines, but said more must be done to help agencies attract key talent. He identified five key barriers to recruiting mission-critical talent to government – shortage of needed talent, lack of knowledge and interest, absence of long-term recruiting strategy, cumbersome hiring process, and difficulty retaining talent – and provided recommendations for Congress on how address them.

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The Partnership Testifies on Strengthening the Senior Executive Service
On March 29, 2011, Partnership President and CEO Max Stier testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia on what can be done to strengthen the Senior Executive Service (SES). In his testimony, Stier addressed 8 key areas for reform. Chief among his recommendations for Congress was the need to require mobility—either across agencies or sectors—as a pre-requisite for joining the SES and continued mobility once an employee joins the SES. Stier also highlighted the importance of making talent management a top leadership priority at every agency.

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The Partnership Testifies on Federal Pay
On March 9, 2011, Partnership President and CEO Max Stier testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy on the federal government's approach to civilian employee compensation. In his testimony, Stier suggested that the goal of the federal compensation system should be to enable the federal government to recruit, hire and retain the talent that it needs. To achieve that goal, Stier recommended that the federal pay system be more market-sensitive. Additionally, Stier advocated for a more updated job classification system, better and more complete market-based salary surveys to enable the government to pay employees fairly, and sound workforce planning to anticipate and understand future hiring needs.

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The Partnership Testifies on Streamlining the Nominations Process
On March 2, 2011, Partnership President and CEO Max Stier testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on streamlining the nominations process. In his testimony, Stier praised the Senate and its bipartisan working group for taking steps to reduce the number of political appointees requiring Senate confirmation. Beyond that, Stier encouraged the Senate to set goals for the incoming administration to get nominees' paperwork in to the relevant committees so the Senate can vote on top administration officials at the beginning of the Congressional session. Stier also advocated for converting select political appointments to career positions and capping the number of political appointees at each agency instead of just across government.

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111th Congress

The Partnership Testifies on the Federal Hiring Process
On May 19, 2010, Tim McManus, Vice President for Education and Outreach, testified before the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia, on current and proposed efforts to reform the federal hiring process. In his testimony, McManus praised the Administration and the Office of Personnel Management for making hiring reform a priority, and commented on the recent Presidential Memo and OPM guidance.  McManus also urged the Subcommittee to take up the Senate-passed bill S. 736, the Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act, to codify these recommendations in law.  In his testimony, McManus also addressed the Veterans Employment Initiative and Federal Career Intern Program, and highlighted current legislative proposals that merit consideration, including H.R. 3510, the Roosevelt Scholars Act, and H.R. 3264, the Federal Internship Improvement Act.  

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The Partnership Testifies on Work-Life Programs in the Federal Government
On May 4, 2010, Partnership President and CEO Max Stier testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia on flexible work arrangements (FWA) and work-life programs in the federal government. Specifically, Stier discussed the barriers to wide-spread use, opportunities for improvement and the potential benefits of telework and other FWA’s. Stier recommended the immediate passage of telework legislation that passed the committee earlier this Congress. In addition, Stier also touched on OPM’s new Results Only Work Environment program and the campus wellness program between OPM, Interior and GSA.   

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The Partnership Testifies on Federal Training and Internship Program
On April 29, 2010, John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, testified before the Senate Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, on federal training and internship programs. In his testimony, Palguta urged Congress to pass S. 674, the Federal Supervisor Training Act.  He also discussed the untapped potential of student internships and urged federal agencies to see interns as a pipeline for future talent.  In addition, he commented on the Federal Career Internship Program and provided recommendations moving forward.   

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The Partnership Testifies on the Presidential Transition
On April 22, 2010, Partnership President and CEO Max Stier testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia on the presidential transition. Stier discussed the Partnership’s tracking of the 2008 transition and provided several recommendations based on the Partnership’s Ready to Govern (provide link to report) transition report, released a year after the inauguration. Stier thanked the members of the committee for their leadership in introducing S. 3196, the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010, and offered additional recommendations, including mandating White House and agency transition councils. 

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The Partnership Testifies on Recruitment in the Federal Government
On May 7, 2009, Partnership President and CEO Max Stier testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia on recruitment and hiring in the federal government. Stier addressed federal workforce challenges, the urgency of improving the hiring process, the barriers to finding the right talent, the lack of information on applicants, why flexible hiring is under-utilized and where more support is needed. Stier suggested improvements to S. 736, the Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act, and offered additional recommendations to the Subcommittee, including that OPM be directed to conduct the Federal Human Capital Survey on an annual basis.

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The Partnership Testifies on the State of the Federal Workforce
On April 22, 2009, Partnership President Max Stier testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and District of Columbia. Stier addressed the major challenges currently facing the federal workforce, including barriers to recruitment, a broken hiring process, a lack of meaningful measures and a lack of support and oversight. Subsequently, Stier offered six recommendations, including improved measures, a government-wide strategic human capital plan and a public endorsement of S. 736, the Federal Hiring Process Improvements Act.

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The Partnership Testifies on Employee Engagement in our Nation’s Land Management Agencies
On March 19, 2009, Partnership Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Kevin Simpson testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. In his testimony, Simpson provided recommendations on how the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service can improve recruitment, retention and overall employee satisfaction. In particular, Simpson recommended that the agencies focus on improving leadership, an area where all three agencies receive low scores in the Best Places to Work rankings.

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The Partnership Addresses Ways to Improve Employee Morale at DHS
On March 5, 2009, Partnership President Max Stier testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight on recruiting and retaining quality candidates and increasing morale at the Department of Homeland Security. Stier had several recommendations for the Subcommittee, including improving the hiring process with a “Federal Applicant’s Bill of Rights” and funding leadership development programs for DHS employees. Stier also suggested that OPM conduct the Federal Human Capital Survey on an annual basis and release the data as soon as possible so federal departments and agencies can make real-time corrections.

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110th Congress

The Partnership Makes Recommendations on Recruiting and Hiring New Talent
On May 8, 2008, Partnership President Max Stier testified before the Senate Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee on how the federal government can effectively recruit and hire the next generation of federal employees. Among his recommendations, Stier suggested agencies adopt an "applicants' bill of rights" that would promise a user-friendly application process. He asked Congress to require agencies to re-evaluate the process by which they assess applicants. Stier also urged Congress to require that agencies create a system of metrics to gage the effectiveness of federal recruiting, an essential tool for effective oversight.

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The Partnership Testifies before the Senate Special Committee on Aging
On April 30, 2008, Partnership President Max Stier testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging on efforts to recruit and retain older workers in the federal government. Stier highlighted key research findings from the Partnership's Golden Opportunity report and discussed the recently launch FedExperience Transitions to Government Pilot Program with the Department of Treasury and IBM. Stier argued that there is an appetite among older workers to work longer and to participate in interesting and meaningful work. In particular, a high percentage of older workers are interested in federal service. This pairs nicely with the fact that older Americans, whose skills align well with government's most pressing talent needs, make attractive candidates to fill government's many critical vacancies.

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The Partnership Weighs in on Pay for Performance
On February 12, 2008, Partnership for Public Service President and CEO Max Stier testified before the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia about the Bush administration’s pay for performance policies. Stier focused on how to use pay as an incentive to create a higher performing work environment in federal agencies. Informed by the Partnership’s Best Places to Work in the Federal Government research and a recent survey of federal chief human capital officers, Stier laid out a series of recommendations for effectively implementing a pay for performance system.

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The Partnership Submits Official Statement for the Record Regarding H.R. 2363 (GOFEDS)
The Partnership submitted an official statement for the record for the October 17, 2007, joint House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2007. Partnership President and CEO, Max Stier, testified in support of H.R. 2363, the bipartisan Generating Opportunity by Forgiving Educational Debt for Service Act (GOFEDS), introduced by Representative Tim Bishop (D-NY). Stier argued that the language in H.R. 2363 complements many of the objectives of the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2007 and urged the Subcommittees to consider incorporating the GOFEDS language into the Heroes bill.

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The Partnership Testifies on GAO’s Recent Personnel Reforms
On May 22, 2007, Partnership President Max Stier delivered testimony at a joint House/Senate subcommittee hearing on GAO personnel reform. In the testimony he asserted that GAO is on the right track with its performance based and market sensitive approach to compensation. He mentioned that GAO is the number two agency in the Best Places to Work rankings and talked about the need for regular employee evaluations and pulse surveys to gage employee satisfaction. In his testimony he also recommended that Congress independently review and evaluate the data and metrics that GAO gathers on their new hire rate, acceptance rate, and retention rate and calculate GAO’s return on investment.

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The Partnership Testifies on Morale at DHS and Offers Recommendations for a Way Forward
On April 19, 2007, Partnership President Max Stier testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight regarding low employee morale at the Department of Homeland Security. Stier referenced the Partnership’s Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings which show that DHS ranks second to last among large agencies with respect to workplace satisfaction. Stier recommended that Congress encourage and support Department efforts to hire and retain talent, establish a fair, credible, and transparent performance management system, and develop a system of metrics  to evaluate personnel management and reforms over time.

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The Partnership Assesses Agencies with Alternative Personnel Systems and Makes Recommendations
Partnership Executive Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Simpson testified on March 8th, 2007, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce regarding the status of alternative personnel systems in the federal government. Simpson noted the mixed record of the more recently-established systems and the importance of strong leadership and sustained effort over time to ensure that such systems succeed. He offered several recommendations for the Subcommittee’s consideration.

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The Partnership Testifies before the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Key Issues in the Federal Workforce
On March 6, 2007, Partnership President Max Stier spoke before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government on federal workforce issues. Stier’s recommendations included focusing on leadership and management, devoting more resources to training and existing workforce management tools, and using better measures to assess government’s hiring, retention and overall management. 

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Partnership Comments on the Effectiveness of the National Security Personnel System (NSPS)
Also on March 6, 2007, Stier testified before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness on the status of the Defense Department’s National Security Personnel System (NSPS). Among his recommendations, Stier suggested that the subcommittee focus on a core set of metrics by which to assess the effectiveness of the NSPS.

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109th Congress

Partnership President Testifies on Working for America Act
On October 5, 2005, at a hearing of the House Committee of Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce and Agency Organization, Partnership for Public Service President Max Stier testified on the Working for America Act.

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Partnership for Public Service Says Key to Success of Medicare Modernization Legislation is Hiring the Right People
On April 5, 2005, a Partnership for Public Service expert on human capital practices testified before a Senate committee studying how the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will carry out legislation to upgrade Medicare benefits for America's seniors. Marcia Marsh, Vice President for Government Transformation at the Partnership, revealed how a pro bono team of recruitment experts is helping CMS meet one of its biggest challenges: attracting talented employees to meet their increased program demands.

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108th Congress

Partnership Identifies Greatest Challenge to Improving the Federal Hiring Process:
Management Accountability
On June 7, 2004, at a Congressional field hearing to examine the need for improving the federal hiring process, the Partnership for Public Service's expert on private sector human capital practices, Marsha Marsh, said the best way to help the federal government compete for and retain highly skilled and talented employees is to “start at the top,” ensuring that agency leaders are actively involved in the effort.

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Partnership Encourages Continuity in Efforts to Hire, Train, and Manage a High-Performing Federal Workforce During an Election Year:
Congress Urged to Make Transition Oversight a Priority
On May 18, 2004, at a hearing of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Civil Service and Agency Organization, Kevin Simpson, Executive Vice President of the Partnership for Public Service, recommended that efforts to improve the federal government's ability to develop and manage a high-performing workforce are not disrupted by the changes in agency leadership that accompany an election year.

The hearing was held to assess how federal agencies have implemented legislation creating Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) at major agencies to align workforce planning with top strategic goals, and to learn about the accomplishments of the CHCO Council, an interagency task force designed to assist CHCOs in carrying out their responsibilities.  

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Partnership President Testifies Before Congressional Committee:
Success of 9/11 Commission's Recommendations Depends On Putting People First

At a September 14, 2004, hearing on the 9/11 Commission recommendations, sponsored by the Oversight of Government Management, Federal Workforce and District of Columbia Subcommittee of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, the Partnership for Public Service stressed that addressing the Commission's recommendations must start with investing in people.

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107th Congress

Partnership President Testifies In Support of CHCO Legislation
Partnership President and CEO Max Stier testified before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in support of Sen. Voinovich's proposal to install Chief Human Capital Officers in government agencies to ensure high-level strategic attention is given to workforce management issues.

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