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FCC Significantly Improves in OPM Employee Survey

Monday, FCC issued a press release on the results of the 2010 OPM Viewpoint Employee Satisfaction Survey that quoted Chairman Genachowski as saying,

“I am delighted that the FCC has been recognized as the ‘most improved’ federal agency. The survey results reflect the hard work being done throughout the agency to make the FCC a model of excellence in government.

"The FCC’s reform agenda, which builds on the impressive strides made by Commissioner Copps as acting chairman, includes creating new opportunities for employees to provide feedback; improving employee communication through technology and new media; and focusing on leadership development and opportunities for employees. I applaud the work of the FCC management and staff and look forward to more great things to come."

Long time blog readers may recall that this survey, previously called the Federal Human Capital Survey, has been a recurring topic here. A topic in which FCC has done extremely poorly in the past.

In May 2009 we wrote,

“FCC ranked 28th out of 32 ranked small agencies. Its score of 55.0 also put it lower than all the large agencies except the Department of Transportation. The only small agencies scoring worse than FCC were: International Boundary and Water Commission, Selective Service System, Broadcasting Board of Governors, and Federal Labor Relations Authority. Also (only) 20 out of the 216 ranked "agency subcomponents" ranked lower than FCC including FAA, FEMA, TSA, and FCC's neighbor - Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

NTIA was not treated as a subcomponent so there is no data on it.”

Earlier we described how the Commission’s ancien regime had dodged early OPM surveys even though they were a well publicized and admirable Bush 43 Administration initiative. Well FCC is now fully on board and is moving up in the ratings, although Chmn. G. did overreach a bit on the “ ‘most improved’ federal agency” a bit. As the image above from the report shows, OPM only identified FCC as one of 11 agencies with the “highest increases since 2008”.

The raw data shows the very positive improvement since the former chairman left. On the questions “I feel encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things”, in 2008 52% of FCC staffers either strongly agreed or agreed, now it is 62%.

On “My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment”, formerly 60% either strongly agreed or agreed, now it is 70%.

On “I can disclose a suspected violation of any law, rule or regulation without fear of reprisal”, there was a big jump: formerly 45% either strongly agreed or agreed, now it is 67%. Perhaps this points to the need to have a credible long term inspector general at FCC - a recurring theme in this blog. While it is laudable that there is great improvement here, what can be done to prevent a low score in the future?

There were also large increases in positive responses to both “Arbitrary action, personal favoritism and coercion for partisan political purposes are not tolerated.” and “Prohibited Personnel Practices are not tolerated” making one wonder what was really going on under the ancien regime? Perhaps another indication of what happens when there is not a credible IG in an agency or perhaps this is why the previous chairman did not want a credible IG!

Finally on “I have a high level of respect for my organization’s senior leaders” formerly 38% either strongly agreed or agreed, now it is 62%!

So congratulations to Chmn. Genachowski and the new team on this major turn around!

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