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FCW : October 15, 2012
October 15, 2012 FCW.COM 13 INK TANK next year. Given the crowded agenda for the lame duck session planned for after the Nov. 6 elections, however, introduc- tion in 2013 appears more likely. How big is the federal workforce? As Election Day draws closer, candi- dates continue to use the size of the federal workforce as a political foot- ball. Coming up with an actual count, however, is a bit complicated. According to Partnership for Public Service Vice President John Palguta, there are three main sources to use when counting feds. All are accurate but use different methodologies, he said, and can yield quite different results. The rst is the Of ce of Personnel Management s FedScope, which essen- tially provides a headcount of all execu- tive branch civilian employees (the CIA and certain other national security orga- nizations do not report on their ranks). The March 2012 tally, for example, was 2,102,269 total --- 1,877,990 of them per- manent and full-time. WHAT: A report from the IBM Cen- ter for the Business of Government that offers 18 recommendations for improving the Obama adminis- tration's website for competition- based problem-solving. WHY: The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 empowered federal agencies to conduct public contests and award cash prizes for winning solutions. Challenge.gov launched in Sep- tember of that year and has now featured more than 200 challenges that have ranged widely in scope, visibility and effectiveness. This report suggests changes to both the competitions and the site to better position Challenge.gov as "a viable platform for solving the grand challenges of our time. " VERBATIM: "Federal agencies have not yet realized the full potential of Challenge.gov. Our ndings and recommendations point to design advancements that can be made...to further the building of a community of problem-solvers where learning takes place among citizens, between citizens and public agencies, and across public agencies. " Full report: businessofgovernment.org/reports The Obama administration s pro- posed budget for scal 2013, meanwhile, reports federal workforce numbers as full-time equivalents. One person work- ing 40 hours a week is one FTE, and so are two people working 20 hours per week each. That data estimates the executive branch civilian workforce at 2,107,600 FTEs in scal 2012 --- up 5,200 from the previous year but down 20,300 from scal 2010. The third source is OPM s Histori- cal Federal Workforce Tables, which record the executive branch s civilian employees (full-time permanent, tem- porary, part-time and intermittent) on board at the end of each scal year. For scal 2010, those stats peg the executive branch at 2,133,000 civilian employees of all sorts --- barely 5,000 more than the Obama administration s FTE count for that year. And if that were not complicated enough, here s one more metric, courte- sy of the administration s proposed bud- get documentation: "Relative to the pri- vate sector, [today s] federal workforce is less than half the size it was back in the 1950s and 1960s." CRITICAL READ federal jobs could be threatened by sequestration, George Mason University's Stephen Fuller told the House Small Business Committee. 277,263
October 30, 2012