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Hearing of the Oversight, Investigations, and Management Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee - Building One DHS: Why is Employee Morale Low?


Location: Washington, DC

Today, we will examine an issue that is vital to the Department of Homeland Security's operations and that is the management of its 220,000 employees.

I am deeply troubled by the Department's ranking in both the Office of Personnel Management Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places to Work rankings.

In both surveys the Department ranked near the bottom.

On a positive note, the survey revealed that progress has been made in the last five years; however, this progress has been incremental and has not yielded overall improvement for the Department's ranking as compared to other federal agencies.

To that end, I am pleased that today's hearing will provide us with an opportunity to examine ways to chart a way forward.

To do so, however, the Department must properly address the causes of its employees' dissatisfaction and make a concerted effort to improve Department-wide morale.

Given the huge gap between Component-level responses, it is clear that there needs to be a clearer connection and better collaboration between DHS headquarters and its components.

For example, although the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center received overall scores of 70.9 and 66.5, respectively; TSA's score was a mere 48 and the Science and Technology Directorate was even lower at 41.

The Department recently developed its Workforce Strategy for Fiscal Years 2011-2016.

Hopefully, this plan will serves as the blueprint for improved human capital management and result in better morale among the Department's employees.

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