Government Affairs and Policy


The Partnership’s Government Affairs team advocates for legislation to inspire a new generation to serve and to transform the way government works. We seek to educate policymakers and staff on key issues and challenges facing agencies and the federal workforce and engage Congress on the Partnership’s research, programs and events. We believe Congress can, and should, take a proactive role in building an effective and efficient federal government.


Inspire and Hire Mission-Critical Talent

In order for government to perform at its very best, agencies must be able to inspire and ultimately hire top talent.

The Partnership works to educate Congress and ensure that agencies have the tools they need to attract, select and hire the best people for federal service.

Priorities

  • Improve the federal hiring process by allowing agencies to share hiring “certification lists”, making it easier to convert Pathways interns to full-time employees, and measuring hiring effectiveness across government.
  • Reform the hiring process for the Senior Executive Service (SES) by requiring agencies to accept only resumes in the initial round of the hiring process and giving agencies the authority to make selections with OPM oversight.

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Develop Strong Leaders

Strong leadership is key to building an effective federal government.

The Partnership seeks reforms to strengthen the Senior Executive Service (SES) and ensure agencies are able to attract, develop and retain the very best leaders for the future. In addition, we seek broader structural reform of the SES to enable our government to operate as a single enterprise, rather than a collection of different agencies, and to view executives as enterprise-wide assets who can work across agencies and sectors to solve complex challenges. As part of the Partnership’ Ready to Govern initiative, the Government Affairs team is also exploring ways to improve the preparation of presidential transition teams and reform the nomination process to strengthen leadership at the highest level.

Priorities

  • Require training for all new supervisors and managers; require diversity of work experience as a requirement for entry into the SES; reform hiring, selection and onboarding; and provide opportunities for continuous development and mobility for those in the SES.
  • Improve the presidential transition process, for example, by establishing a federal transition coordinator, ensuring that transitions are appropriately resourced by Congress, and codifying some of the best practices established during the 2008 transition, which is widely regarded as one of the smoothest in American history.
  • Create a public-private talent exchange that allows for the exchange of knowledge and best-practices across sectors.

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Engage Employees

A highly engaged workforce has a clear and positive impact on agency productivity and mission performance.

The Partnership, through the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings, educates Congress on how employee engagement impacts government performance, and briefs Members of Congress and staff on engagement at specific agencies. The Best Places to Work rankings use data from the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey to measure the commitment and satisfaction of federal employees.

Priorities

  • Update the statute requiring agencies to conduct annual employee satisfaction surveys and codify current practice by requiring OPM to conduct the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey on an annual basis. In addition, require OPM to collect survey data by occupation and make the results available to the public more quickly to allow agencies maximum ability to address results.
  • Require all supervisors, managers and executives (career and political) to be held accountable in their performance plans for taking steps to address employee satisfaction and commitment.

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To request a congressional briefing on the Best Places to Work rankings, please contact Andrew Lobel at alobel@ourpublicservice.org.

To learn more about how Congress can use the rankings in legislation and oversight, please see the Partnership’s Congressional User Guide.


Modernize Management Systems

Many of the systems and structures underpinning the federal workforce are out of date and poorly serve our federal workforce.

Rather than a collection of distinct agencies managed under a number of disparate systems, the Partnership is committed to a vision of the federal government managed as a single enterprise, in which agencies work together and share resources to achieve their mission. We seek to address the many management challenges our government faces, including costly and duplicative business systems, limited availability and use of performance metrics, and an ineffective and outdated civil service system. Our report, “Building the Enterprise: A New Civil Service Framework” offers specific recommendations for sweeping reforms to the civil service, and the Partnership is committed to working with Congress on both immediate improvements and longer-term reforms in each of these areas to once again make the federal government an employer of choice.

Priorities

  • Promote comprehensive reform of the civil service system, including hiring, job classification, compensation, performance management, dispute resolution, and reforms to the Senior Executive Service.
  • Encourage Congress to move government towards operating as a single enterprise, for example through greater use of shared services and strategic sourcing by creating the necessary policies and infrastructure.

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Build Networks of Support

Congress plays a critical role in building and maintaining an engaged and effective federal workforce.

The Partnership works to educate Congress about the important contributions federal employees make every day across the country and encourages Members to be champions for more efficient and effective government.

Priorities

  • Champion legislation that contributes to a high-performing government.
  • Encourage Congress to support the values of public service, for example by celebrating the work of public servants during Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) and acknowledging the contributions Service to America Medal winners and finalists.

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