MSHA's Revised Hiring Process Has Improved the Agency's Recruiting Efforts, but Its Human Capital Strategic Plan Does Not Adequately Project or Address Its Future Workforce Needs

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2003, GAO recommended that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) develop a plan for addressing anticipated shortages in the number of qualified inspectors due to upcoming retirements, including considering options such as streamlining the agency's hiring process and offering retention bonuses. As you requested, we conducted follow-up work on the implementation of this recommendation. We reviewed MSHA's human capital planning documents and obtained data on the number of inspectors employed by MSHA and the number of them eligible for retirement. In addition, we interviewed officials responsible ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 16, 2007.

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2003, GAO recommended that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) develop a plan for addressing anticipated shortages in the number of qualified inspectors due to upcoming retirements, including considering options such as streamlining the agency's hiring process and offering retention bonuses. As you requested, we conducted follow-up work on the implementation of this recommendation. We reviewed MSHA's human capital planning documents and obtained data on the number of inspectors employed by MSHA and the number of them eligible for retirement. In addition, we interviewed officials responsible for MSHA's human resources department, officials in MSHA's district offices, and officials at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy. We completed our work between June 2006 and March 2007 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. In 2004, MSHA began a new process for hiring mine inspectors under the auspices of the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP)--a federal program designed to recruit and retain high caliber candidates and develop their professional abilities. The use of the FCIP has led to a number of improvements in inspector recruiting and hiring, such as being able to identify applicants with the basic skills needed to be a successful inspector early in the process and decreasing the time it takes the agency to hire new inspectors. Since MSHA began using the program, the agency has hired 236 new coal mine inspector trainees. However, while MSHA has taken significant steps to improve its hiring process, the agency's human capital plan does not include a strategic approach for addressing the large number of retirements expected in the next 5 years. MSHA estimates that over 40 percent of its inspectors will be eligible for retirement by 2012. District officials expressed concerns about the impact that losing experienced inspectors may have on the agency's ability to achieve its goals, particularly completing required safety and health inspections on time."

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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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  • May 16, 2007

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United States. Government Accountability Office. MSHA's Revised Hiring Process Has Improved the Agency's Recruiting Efforts, but Its Human Capital Strategic Plan Does Not Adequately Project or Address Its Future Workforce Needs, text, May 16, 2007; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301877/: accessed July 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.