Foreign Languages: Workforce Planning Could Help Address Staffing and Proficiency Shortfalls

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Federal agencies' foreign language needs have increased during the past decade because of increasing globalization and the changing security environment. At the same time, agencies have seen significant reductions-in-force and no-growth or limited-growth environments during the last decade. As a result, some agencies now confront an aging core of language-capable staff while recruiting and retaining qualified new staff in an increasingly competitive job market. The four agencies GAO reviewed reported shortages of translators and interpreters and other staff, such as diplomats and intelligence specialists, with foreign language skills. ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. March 12, 2002.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Federal agencies' foreign language needs have increased during the past decade because of increasing globalization and the changing security environment. At the same time, agencies have seen significant reductions-in-force and no-growth or limited-growth environments during the last decade. As a result, some agencies now confront an aging core of language-capable staff while recruiting and retaining qualified new staff in an increasingly competitive job market. The four agencies GAO reviewed reported shortages of translators and interpreters and other staff, such as diplomats and intelligence specialists, with foreign language skills. These shortfalls varied depending on the agency, job position, language, and skill level. The agencies reported using a range of strategies to address their staffing shortfalls, such as providing employees with language training and pay incentives, recruiting employees with foreign language skills, hiring contractors, or taking advantage of information technology. One of the four agencies has adopted a strategic approach to its workforce planning efforts. In contrast, the other three agencies have yet to pursue overall strategic planning in this area."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • March 12, 2002

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Foreign Languages: Workforce Planning Could Help Address Staffing and Proficiency Shortfalls, text, March 12, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289436/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.