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When Constance Berry Newman became director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in june 1989, she identified several top priority personnel issues. These critical areas included comprehensive reform of the federal pay system, revamping the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, improving performance evaluation systems, enhancing the perception and quality of public service, and revitalizing training and development.
Although OPM immediately went into high gear on several of these priorities, such issues as the executive pay raise and laying the successful legislative groundwork for pay reform commanded most of Director Newman's attention during the first few months of her tenure. Consequently, initial activities in support of federal training and development were delayed. This article will briefly describe OPM's activities to revitalize training and development for federal employees, or "human resources development" for federal employees. Task Force on Executive and Management Development
Initial human resources development (HRD) efforts began in November 1989 when Director Newman selected a 33-member task force to advise her on new policies and programs for federal managers and executives. The group was comprised of top-level federal managers and executives, academia, and for-profit and nonprofit private sectors. The task force included several well known American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) members, including Elmer Staats, Chester Newland, Frank Thompson, Peter Zimmerman, Patricia Ingraham, and Jim Colvard, among others.
The task force held four meetings in January and February 1990 to consider four major issues: * qualities, competencies, and values needed for effective managers and executives; * best approaches and models for identifying and/or developing those managerial qualities; * an overview of existing federal executive and management training programs and different models of agency career development program; and * strategies and action steps for OPM and agencies to develop more effective government managers and executives.
As a result of those discussions, task force members reached a surprising degree of consensus on the issues. The final "Report of the Task Force on Executive and Management Development" was published in july 1990 and enumerated 14 specific suggestions which are summarized below. * OPM should take a much stronger leadership role in developing and articulating a governmentwide human resource development strategy. * OPM should help instill an organizational climate in the government that supports the continued development of managers and executives and provide guidance to agencies on the skills and competencies needed by effective managers. * OPM should work to …