USPS Plans Modernization
The U.S. Postal Service has unveiled its long-awaited Transformation Plan, offering a peek at the future of mail delivery. The plan outlines three alternative business models: government agency, privatized corporation, or commercial government enterprise. Making the USPS a private corporation would reduce universal service, while the government agency option would take the USPS back to its past dependence on taxpayers. Postmaster General Jack Potter favors the commercial agency structure.
In terms of workforce management, the Transformation Plan suggests the closing of post offices to save money. Other immediate steps include investment in mail processing technology and improvement of the dispute resolution process to reduce the $500 million a year currently spent on labor-management disagreements.
"If we continue to operate like the post office that we grew up with, the only post offices our children will know will be ones they see in museums," Mr. Potter says. "We are at a point in our history when itís time for the next phase in postal evolution. And this time we need help."
HRC Gives Administrators a Head Start
Human Resource Consultants (HRC) specializes in training administrators, boards, and staff at Head Start programs and other human service organizations. The company also participates in strategic planning and management of Head Start programs.
HRCís expertise has won contracts with the Administration for Children and Families, an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services. HRC also works with local government agencies, and its customers include large and small private companies and public organizations throughout the nation.
The Internet figures in HRCís strategy Ė it also offers Web-hosting services and interactive training products to customers. The Texas-based company is a member of RedWire, a nationwide online directory of Hispanic firms. For more information on HRC, visit their RedWire site at www.hispanicbusiness.com/esource/view.asp?companyid=2100.
Report: Federal Pay Needs Updating
The federal governmentís General Schedule determines the salaries of 1.2 million workers. Yet the system "suits the workforce of 1950, not todayís knowledge workers," according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Titled "A Fresh Start for Federal Pay: The Case for Modernization," the report notes that in 1950, 75 percent of civil servants performed clerical work. Today, that number has dropped below 30 percent.
Currently, more than "75 percent of the increase in federal pay bears no relationship to individual achievement or competence," the report states; updating the system would connect pay to results and productivity. The report also points out that pay increases and locality adjustments now result from a cumbersome and costly measurement process, rather than market factors.
The report doesnít provide a list of recommendations, but it calls for more flexibility in federal hiring, promotion, and pay. To see a copy of the report, visit the OPMís Strategic Compensation Policy Center at www.opm.gov/strategiccomp/index.htm.
Personnel Security Looms in Terrorism War
In congressional testimony, Vice-Admiral Thomas Wilson, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), focused on "the security of the personnel, the facilities, and the information" of the agency. Seven DIA employees and eight naval intelligence professionals were killed in the September 11 attack on the Pentagon.
"The FY 2003 GDIP [General Defense Intelligence Program] budget request includes funds for enhancements to the physical security at our most vulnerable facilities, improvement to the protection of our automated information systems, and, most urgently, military construction funds to accelerate the movement of several thousand GDIP personnel out of vulnerable leased space into a secure facility on a military base," Mr. Wilson said.
For DIA career information, visit www.dia.mil/careers/index.html.
Elected Officials Use Web Skills
If you want to become an elected politician, make sure you know how to use the Internet. A first-ever survey of mayors, city council members, and congressional representatives regarding their use of the Internet shows that local officials have embraced Web-based communication, while members of Congress feel swamped by e-mails and often dismiss them.
Clearly, Internet communication has become a part of political life. Seventy-five percent of local officials with Internet access use the Web at least weekly. Additionally, 54 percent of online officials say their use of e-mail has brought them into contact with citizens from whom they had not heard before, and 32 percent have been persuaded, at least in part, by e-mail campaigns about the merits of a groupís policy questions. The nonprofit Pew Internet & American Life Project, in partnership with the National League of Cities, sponsored the study.
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