Bringing the Federal Government to the 21st Century

I recently chaired an Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on the outdated personnel system for federal employees. A lot has changed since 1949 when the General Schedule was established to classify federal workers according to their job duties and assign pay. Minimum wage was 70 cents an hour, the average yearly wage was just under $3000, and the federal government’s workforce consisted mainly of clerical staff. Sixty-five years later, the government continues to classify and pay 80 percent of its workforce using the same, antiquated system, ignoring the realities of the current labor market.

It is no wonder we continue to bear the burden of an inefficient and unaccountable federal government.

During the hearing, I had the opportunity to learn what efforts were underway within OPM, the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, and the Administration established labor management councils to craft a proposal for submission to this Committee that would modernize the General Schedule.

Achieving common sense to how the federal government classifies, evaluates and compensates its workforce will bring needed accountability, and I believe much improved performance to the federal government. As we work to ensure a more efficient, cost effective government to reduce the burden on the American taxpayer, it is reasonable to expect federal workforce policy reflect modern HR practices and not a clearly out of date 1940’s system.


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