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Deloitte Survey Finds Federal Agencies Making Progress in President’s Management Agenda, Funding and Workforce Challenges Remain Top Concerns

Civilian-focused agencies are focused on three priorities: Improved citizen engagement, improved or different workforce skills and knowledge, and better use of data analytics.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2018A recent survey of federal employees by Deloitte and 1105 Media revealed that employees understand the key goals of the President’s Management Agenda and that their agencies are progressing in meeting those goals. However, some traditional mindsets to persistent challenges remain. For example, 77 percent of respondents’ agencies are currently engaged with automation and 33 percent feel automation will repurpose the workforce to tackle mission programs. Yet, 42 percent said that hiring more federal employees would be the best solution to address the top talent challenges.

“What makes this PMA stand out from its predecessors is its recognition that the reform activities it highlights transcend a president’s term in office to focus on long-term achievements,” Dave Mader, civilian sector chief strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “That long-term focus can help federal organizations overcome the pressure to adopt a short-term mindset that doesn’t drive sustainable improvement or create expectations for outcomes that simply can’t be accomplished in two to three years. Therefore, the opportunity to transform how an agency delivers on its mission is here.”

The civilian and US Department of Defense officials who responded to the survey ranked use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotics process automation as the areas most in need of improvement.

At the core of agencies’ efforts to meet Cross-Agency Priority goals is the need for funding. Half of the respondents said they plan to apply for funding through the $100 million Technology Modernization Fund. Specifically, agencies are looking for additional funds for information technology infrastructure, cybersecurity, and AI/machine learning.

Additional data points include:

  • Regarding civilian agency respondents, 60 percent said they have already allocated funding toward three priorities: improved customer service and citizen engagement; improved or different workforce skills and knowledge; and better use of data analytics.
  • More than 70 percent of civilian respondents said that improving citizen engagement is a priority at their agency, and 60 percent have a strategic plan with measurable goals and milestones for improvement.
  • Despite this progress, respondents said there are three main barriers to improvement: inadequate staffing, digital platforms, and agency culture.
  • More than 40 percent of civilian responders said their agencies are deploying automation programs, but repurposing their workforce is a major challenge.

“The PMA is a well-structured framework for modernizing government and recognizes that it is a multiyear effort that will require leadership at both the political and career levels. It also will require a commitment to dedicate resources now to ensure a return on the investments and a future-forward government,” said Kavitha Prabhakar, civil government sector leader and principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP.

The survey was conducted in late October 2018 with 150 completed responses from both civilian and defense department employees.

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including more than 85 percent of the Fortune 500 and more than 6,000 private and middle market companies. Our people work across more than 20 industry sectors to make an impact that matters — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them.

Media contact:

Megan Doern
Public Relations
Deloitte Services LP
+1 571 858 1990

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