House appropriations bill could help federal job seekers and enhance data
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House appropriations bill could help federal job seekers and enhance data

June 28, 2019 | Updated on October 21, 2020

We have good news for federal job seekers and data fans – recent House action could lead to faster federal hiring, more data on the federal workforce and an improved user experience on USAJOBS, the government’s one-stop shop for federal jobs.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida championed Financial Services and General Government appropriations report language addressing barriers to government’s ability to hire the best and brightest. Rep. Murphy chairs the Future Forum, a generational caucus of young members of Congress working to inspire the next generation of leaders in public service.

Good government starts with good people, but for too many job seekers, the federal hiring process is long and complicated, and that deters them from pursuing public service. The report language could help fix that.

So, what exactly does this report language do?

  • Directs the Office of Personnel Management to reduce barriers to federal employment, minimize delays in the hiring process, and improve recruitment and hiring overall. Between 2012 and 2017, OPM reported the average time to hire for federal positions increased to 106 days from 87 days. That is too long for applicants and agencies alike.
  • Directs OPM to report on how it will use applicant and agency feedback to improve the USAJOBS user experience, and requires the Government Accountability Office to offer additional ideas to simplify and streamline USAJOBS. The USAJOBS website has frequently been called unresponsive and hard to use. The House report language addresses these issues.
  • Urges OPM to share workforce data by county: FedScope is OPM’s repository of federal workforce data, broken down by location, demographics and agency, but the information is only available for the federal and state levels. The House language provides the push needed to ensure this information is available by county or equivalents, such as boroughs and parishes.

The House passed the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill on June 26.  While the Senate version of this legislation is still a work in progress, House passage is a welcome development for improving federal hiring and data transparency.

Stay tuned as we continue to track this important report language.