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Interagency Work Group Support for the Human Resources Data Network Program

Thursday, August 3, 2000
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
From: 
JANET BARNES AND KAY FRANCES DOLAN (…signed August 1, 2000…) HUMAN RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL CO-CHAIRS
Subject: 
Interagency Work Group Support for the Human Resources Data Network Program

This memorandum requests your participation in the initial planning and reengineering phases of the Federal Human Resources Data Network Program. The envisioned HR-DN will facilitate the use of human resources data by a variety of stakeholders. The Federal Human Resource Data Network will:

Eliminate the need for a paper employee record,
Enable the electronic transfer of HR data,
Streamline and improves Governmentwide reporting, and
Complement and incorporate agency HRIS capabilities

The HR-DN Program is structured to take advantage of the experienced HR and IT talent present in the Federal workforce. Activity Work Groups are being formed to perform specific HR-DN tasks. Approximately ten teams will be staffed with Federal employees and supported by a contractor workforce at various stages during the project. We need your help.

Specifically, we plan to convene the first three work groups beginning in mid-September 2000. The HR-DN Program Office will be located at 1120 20th Street N.W. at 1 Lafayette Center, 3 blocks from the Farragut West or Farragut North Metro Stations. We are asking you to identify participants to support this effort. Work groups will meet daily for the duration of their assigned tasks. For your consideration and planning, here is a summary of information concerning the activities and requirements for this recruitment effort:

Workgroup 1 - Analyzing, Evaluating, and Documenting Public and Private Sector Benchmarks

Staffing: 4-6 participants

Participation: HRIS and IT specialists

Subgroups: none

Timeframe: 4 months - September 2000 to December 2000

Contractor Support: Research/Facilitation

Workgroup 2 - Defining OPM Program Data Requirements

Staffing: 4-8 participants (OPM participation may be part-time as knowledge resources)

Participation: HR: Staffing/Benefits/HRIS system users; Payroll System users; OPM representation

Subgroups: Coordination with Agency OER Data Definition

Timeframe: 6 months - September 2000 to February 2001

Contractor Support: Facilitation

Workgroup 3 - Agency OER Data Definition

Staffing: 6-8 participants

Participation: HR: Staffing/Benefits/HRIS system users; Payroll System users; OPM representation

Subgroups: Best Practice and Agency Unique Analysis

Timeframe: 6-7 months - September 2000 to February/April 2001

Contractor Support: Facilitation; Research; Best Practice

Attached are more detailed descriptions of the Work Group activities for which we are currently recruiting. We would like to identify work group participants for the first teams by August 20, 2000. The timeframes for these activities are estimates and we will make every effort to complete ahead of these estimates. We understand that you are making a sacrifice and appreciate your willingness to be a part of this tremendous effort that will benefit the entire Federal sector.

Please provide your nominations with a brief resume to John Moseley at 202.606.1191 or email jmosele@opm.gov, or to Anne Martin at 202.606.2042 or email eamartin@opm.gov.

WORKGROUP 1

Objective: Research and analyze public- and private-sector benchmarks of HR-DN concept of operation. Estimated time: 4 months

Enable the HRTC to leverage others- experience with similar data networks and to refine the HR-DN implementation strategy early in the development lifecycle, when refinements are least expensive.

Enable the HRTC to better educate all HR-DN stakeholders in the HR-DN concepts.

Background:

The HR-DN program comprises large-scale changes that may be difficult for stakeholders to envision, particularly when coupled with the introduction of new technology. With a benchmark(s) before them, stakeholders will have clearer understanding of the potential HR-DN architecture and processes and how these features might affect their operation. They will then be better able to identify potential problem areas and suggest improvements.

Description of Work:

Research and benchmark similar prototype or operational models and, as appropriate to meet the objective:

The process of extracting data from one organizational information system, passing the information through a central hub server to a second organization, and populating the second information system with the same data.

The process of extracting information from an organizational information system, passing the information to a central repository, and populating the central repository.

Design high-level data flow diagrams to form the baseline design of the HR-DN.

Resources: Interagency work groups and contractor support.

Schedule: Could begin early in the program activity schedule.

Work Group Member Attributes:

Knowledge of the functional use, management and operation of automated information systems supporting federal personnel operations.

General knowledge of electronic data collection, exchange, extraction, and storage.

Expresses facts and ideas orally and in writing in a clear, convincing and organized manner.

Identifies and analyzes problems; distinguishes between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical decisions and provides solutions.

Consistently develops and sustains cooperative working relationships.

WORK GROUP 2

Objective: Define the data required by OPM programs to meet OPM-s mission. Estimated Time: 6-7 months

Ensure that OPM program office data collection efforts are focused, streamlined, and fully aligned with the mission, goals and objectives of each office.

Implement efficient data collection and distribution processes supported by information technology within the context of the overall HR-DN vision.

Ensure that OPM conducts useful and efficient government data collection and reporting without an undue burden on agencies.

Ensure OPM assesses during initial coordination, the systems-related costs and implementation time that are imposed on the Federal sector as a result of proposed program, legislative, and regulatory changes.

Background:

Congress and the President have charged OPM with the responsibility for establishing policy, providing oversight, and gathering data for the government's human resources management programs.Consequently, OPM maintains automated information systems that are used to inform the public of Federal employment opportunities and gathers and analyzes HR programs and workforce data. OPM also responds to ad hoc and recurring reporting requirements from external entities, such as the Office of the President, Congress, OMB, GAO, EEOC, and MSPB and provides Government-wide workforce data to agencies such as Social Security, Interior, Treasury, Defense, and Education. OPM also works with Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) insurance carriers to ensure enrollment data accuracy.

OPM requests and uses HR information to support its mission, which includes managing its programs and services and responding to requests for information from external entities, such as State and local governments, academia, think tanks, and other appropriate public requests. The majority of business systems used by the program offices are standalone legacy systems that operate independently. Without frequent refreshment, such data ages and become obsolete or invalid. The only OPM system that integrates data across multiple business lines is the CPDF; but that system does not contain all of the information program offices need. Although OPM program offices can access CPDF data through multiple methods, these access methods are not sufficient. For example, there is an online retrieval system available via an archaic mainframe (green screen) user interface.

OPM provides information on the Federal workforce through a variety of media, including publications and its website. Most of the information provided by OPM to the external entities is in the form of paper reports or off-line transfers of electronic files. For example, OPM sends copies of CPDF to NARA and extracts of CPDF to other agencies such as GAO and MSPB.

In order to support the implementation of the HR-DN, the core set of information about the Federal workforce that would meet the needs of all OPM programs must be defined. A workgroup tasked to analyze existing requests for agency information and streamline reporting requirements would identify the core set of information. The result of the analysis would be a defined set of personnel information that could be used to meet the needs of all OPM programs. The analysis effort could potentially result in immediate improvements to information sharing within OPM and between OPM and agencies.

Description of Work:

Baseline existing processes, data elements, and supporting technology in order to identify improvement opportunities and provide a point from which future improvements can be measured.

Redesign the process flows and data collected such that all efforts contain only value-added steps and information that contribute to OPM's goals.

Identify primary and optional sources of the information needed to support OPM program missions.

Document the information that will be needed by OPM from individual agencies (the OER Extract) and coordinate with the Agency OER development effort to ensure OPM requirements will be met.

Document the actions needed to implement the new OPM process.

Resources: Collaboration among OPM program offices with interagency work groups and contractor support.

Schedule: Cannot complete without integrating with the definition of the OER and the understanding of the workforce scope.

Work Group Member Attributes:

Possesses extensive knowledge of Federal personnel management concepts, laws, principles and practices.

Understands the internal and external politics that affect the work of OPM.

Expresses facts and ideas orally and in writing in a clear, convincing and organized manner.

Identifies and analyzes problems; distinguishes between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical decisions and provides solutions.

Consistently develops and sustains cooperative working relationships.

WORK GROUP 3

Objective: Re-define the data required in an official employee record. Differentiate OER data used to effect personnel actions from data used exclusively for reporting purposes. Estimated time: 6-7 months

Define the employee information that will comprise the electronic Official Employee Record (OER) to replace the paper Official Personnel File (OPF).

Streamline the amount of information being collected at the agency.

Determine what, if any, Government-wide statutes, regulation, and policy changes are required to support collection and use of the redefined OER.

Background:

The HRTC believes there is a core set of information about each member of the Federal workforce that, when collected together, will satisfy the majority of information needs of the employing and oversight agencies. The current content of the OPF does not satisfy the existing information needs. Approximately 67% of what is currently collected in the OPF is not being collected in the agency HRIS. The disparity between the data collected by agencies versus the data required by OPM, paper or electronic, needs to be eliminated. In order to successfully implement the HR-DN, the Program Manager must conduct a detailed analysis of Government-wide HR data.

Description of Work:

Form an agency workgroup tasked to conduct a detailed analysis of their use of personnel information. The analysis should not be based on current information in use. Rather, the analysis should focus on the strategic HR and personnel decisions made among the different types and sizes of agencies and the information needed to make fact-based decisions.

Gather relevant law, policy, and guidance governing both the codified (e.g., Title 5) and exempt work forces. The sample of work forces should include both large and small civilian and defense agencies.

Gather best practices from employment practices and systems used within industry and benchmark the sample of Federal systems against these best practices.

Identify the Federal practices and systems from the group sampled that are most closely aligned with industry best practices. Examine the information and decisions used by these systems to compile a list of core personnel information. Core information is that information that is present in all the systems analyzed.

Identify the agency or organizational personnel administration processes and procedures that are most likely to require in-depth analysis due to their degree of uniqueness or complexity. Form sub-teams to examine the information and decisions used by these systems to compile a list of additional personnel information items.

Compile the results of each subteam into a single list.

Compare the agency information needs in the OER with the information needs identified for the OER Extract and identify gaps. The purpose of the analysis is to ensure that the agency-defined OER will meet OPM reporting requirements. Present the findings to OPM for joint resolution of issues.

Document the full results of the analysis into a baseline OER and distribute to the HRTC for review and comment.

Using the baseline OER, compare the contents of the OER to existing official guidelines and identify circumstances requiring oversight disposition. Present findings and recommendations to the HRTC.

Develop an OER implementation plan that considers the need to align the OER with existing HRIS and the impact on OPFs.

Resources: Interagency work group with contractor support.

Schedule: This action can begin immediately. It cannot be completed without integrating with the definition of the OER Extract and the understanding of the workforce scope.

Work Group Member Attributes:

Possesses operational experience in personnel record keeping via HRIS transactions supported by Official Personnel Files.

Possesses extensive knowledge of Federal personnel management concepts, laws, principles and practices.

Expresses facts and ideas orally and in writing in a clear, convincing and organized manner.

Identifies and analyzes problems; distinguishes between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical decisions and provides solutions.

Consistently develops and sustains cooperative working relationships.