SEA's 2019 Legislative and Policy Agenda

SEA’s 2019 Legislative and Policy Agenda

With the government shutdown now in its fourth week, SEA’s efforts are focused on reopening the federal government and ensuring furloughed federal employees are made whole with back pay.

We are communicating with lawmakers, the Administration, and the public the damaging effects any lapse of appropriations and shutdown has on morale, federal recruitment and retention issues, and ultimately the ability of federal employees and agencies to deliver their missions and services for the public.

We’ve joined letters to the Hill and White House along with our colleagues in the Federal-Postal Coalition and will continue advocating to bring federal employees back to work and to open the government.

In a research report released this month that SEA helped develop, Are Declines in US Federal Workforce Capabilities Putting Our Government at Risk of Failing, makes the strong case that continued neglect of the government workforce, across all three branches of government and especially in the Executive Branch, threatens to undermine the resilience of our institutions and ultimately the government’s ability to respond.  

Consequently, SEA will continue our efforts to educate and advocate in Congress on the needs for civil service, and indeed government-wide, modernization efforts, necessary to ensure the sustainment of our democratic institutions, consistent with the 10 Considerations for civil service modernization that SEA developed over 2018 through dialogue with a wide range of organizations.

Our efforts to strengthen senior career leadership, including the SES and the executive talent pipeline, will also continue as we pursue reforms consistent with those laid out in our Joint SES Policy Agenda developed in concert with the Partnership for Public Service and the Volcker Alliance.

Despite a divided Congress, we believe forward momentum and success can be achieved on specific elements of these policy agendas; for example, there is wide and bipartisan agreement that the hiring process and too many hiring authorities are a problem for the government. There are focused proposals to address this issue, and we can make progress while pursuing broader and more long-term updates to the civil service.

SEA cannot do this work alone. I encourage you to sign up for the SEA Policy Task Force by emailing me at briefel@seniorexecs.org to express your interest. 

What the SEA Policy Task Force does:

Works with the SEA Board Policy Committee, SEA President and SEA Executive Director to determine the issue areas (legislative and administrative) that SEA should focus on. Topics that may be considered by the task force include but are not limited to: talent management, SEA reform, civil service modernization, human capital policies, hiring reform, ECQs and assessments, organizational and individual performance management, etc.

The task force will review and provide insight and input on policy proposals that SEA is building, and provide feedback on policy proposals SEA is reviewing. Participants will be invited to engage in meetings with policymakers at their discretion. This task force will convene primarily via phone and email, with infrequent in-person meetings. The members of this task force serve as advisors and subject matter experts, providing personal input (not representing an agency or job position).

Ten Considerations For Civi Service Modernization

Summary: The Senior Executives Association (SEA) and the Hoover Institution hosted three Civil Service Modernization Dialogues in the summer and fall of 2018 that had a goal of developing a consensus around general themes and concepts that a diverse group of organizations could support. Those Dialogues were organized around three general themes:

  • Civil Service Workforce Modernization
  • Civil Service Administrative Modernization
  • Civil Service Regulatory Modernization
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