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Lawmaker seeks to fix "outdated & old" federal hiring process once and for all

Lawmaker seeks to fix "outdated & old" federal hiring process once and for all

Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) seeks to improve the federal hiring process.

Max Cacas | FederalNewsRadio

For Jeffrey Zients, the chief performance officer at the Office of Management and Budget and long-time D.C. entrepreneur and businessman, his first job in the Federal Government offers an opportunity to cast this judgement on the process by which almost all civilian employees of the government are hired:

“In my experience, the best talent doesn’t loiter for five months,” he told the Enterprise Risk Management conference in Arlington on Wednesday. “It finds another home.”

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Zeints says the need, some would call it the desperate need, to fix the seriously broken federal government hiring process is the reason he is working closely with John Berry, the director of the Office of Personnel Management. It’s a subject that Berry addresses at almost every public speaking opportunity, as he did this past July at the Excellence in Government Conference.

Now is the time we must hire and recruit the best. Expect the best. Respect their successes and honor their service. To achieve this, we are going to fix hiring and recruitment so that it is fair, simple, fast, and based on merit.

That’s the 30,000 foot view of the goal set by Berry, Zients, and indeed, President Obama, who has said publicly that he seeks to make Federal Service “cool” again.

But permanent change may have to come from Capitol Hill, where a long-time advocate for federal workers has his own ideas about why the federal hiring process is broken.

The reason I would tell you is that they are still using structures of World War Two. Which means it is outdated and old.

Senator Daniel Akaka (D.-Hawaii), is chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia.

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