Sen. John Kerry Calls on OPM to Outsource USAJOBS

1 min read
Sen. John Kerry

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is calling on the Office of Personnel Management to outsource USAJobs.gov. According to FederalTimes.com, Kerry sent a letter to Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel urging him to end OPM’s effort to insource the website.

The USAJobs site relaunched in early October and has been a source of difficulty for thousands of users. There have been complaints of error messages, login difficulties and problems with the search engine, among others.

OPM has failed to get a handle on all of the issues but recently said it had fixed the capacity problems that kept people from accessing the site and was focused on fixing search engine problems.

Prior to OPM’s takeover, Monster.com had been managing the website. Monster.com is based in Kerry’s home state of Massachusetts. In his letter, Kerry wrote “These breakdowns again raise real questions about the decision to take this operation in-house.”


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  1. USAJOBS 3.0 has some issues. Most of the website issues have been fixed. There are some issues with the location searches, but in m 6.5 years of daily intensive use, I don’t find many more problems today then there was before.

    People complained about the forest service jobs, but that is how they, along with AVUE have always choosen to hire–they don’t exactly know where the forest fires are going to be after all.

    There are some other slight issue, a zipcode in a nearby town may return different results than a zip from another. But most Agency job posters have been very bad about tagging the true location of their jobs anyway.

    Mostly, OPM is using the same codebase as they were before under MGS. Location issues can be fixed as identified. And they really need to bring it internal so that other vendors and solution providers can bid and participate, not simply use MGS’s proprietary closed systems.

  2. OPM officials have no one to blame but themselves for their eroded federal HR competencies due to primarily to poor workforce planning. Over the past 10 years OPM has recruited graduate students almost exclusively for OPM at the cost of recruiting technically experienced, technically skilled and technically knowledgeable federal HR Staffing Specialists. We are now seeing how such an unbalanced workforce is adversely affecting OPM core mission of providing HR staffing services and assistance for the nation’s largest employer – federal agencies. Making matters worse, OPM also went to the other extreme of hiring additional “IT” personnel further imbalancing their HR workforce so much that today less than 8% of OPM’s workforce are classified as HR Specialists! OPM guess-estimated IT would be the fix-all to federal HR with little or no need for technically skilled and experienced federal HR personnel to provided needed oversight. The absence technically skilled and experienced personnel in federal HR produced the hyped but underperforming USAJobs 3.0 . Folks, this was supposed to be a simple revision of an existing program just like the recently hyped Pathways to Federal Jobs which is nothing more than a revised version of the old Student Career Experience Program (SCEP). Even OPM ‘s hyped centralized registers for common entry level occupations is a throw-back to the centralized registers used extensively by OPM until the mid 1980s. These efforts and “trailblazing” products by the OPM are not new nor do they require original or creative thought – they are simple revisions of past or existing programs! Expect more of these debacles as OPM continues to ramp up for its new core mission – national healthcare while feigning to assist agencies and applicants. Look at OPM’s budgets which clearly reflect new and increased positions at the OPM for acquisitioning and other support positions for administering OPM’s new core mission – national healthcare. These inconspicuous developments, recent OPM IT based debacles demonstrate OPM no longer has the capacity to fulfill its federal HR core mission feigning its inability to overseeing national HR initiatives or development of national HR efficiencies. OPM’s HR leadership today is but a shell of its once proud flagship status of a bygone era. For these reasons, OMB needs to intervene and reorganize the OPM from a leading agency to more of a supportive role and function. Criticized by federal agencies for several years now coupled with back-to-back fiascos clearly reflect OPM can no longer fulfill its HR core mission. We simply cannot afford to allow OPM to continue to feign needed HR leadership wasting our valuable time and tax dollars on imaginative but failed national HR initiatives.

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