The Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government

Subcommittee on Government Operations
Subcommittee on Government Operations
Hearing Date: April 16, 2015 9:00 am 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

WASHINGTON –On Thursday, April 16th, the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations will hold a hearing titled “The Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government.” The hearing will examine survey results from data collected by OPM through the FEVS.  In addition, this hearing will examine the health of agencies that continue to rank at the top or near the bottom of the Best Places to Work rankings.


  • The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).  The FEVS provides federal workers the ability to provide opinions on engagement, motivation, job satisfaction, agency leadership, and other employment related topics.  The results from the FEVS provide agency leaders with information on the status of their workforce.
  • The FEVS includes several index measures (including the Employee Engagement Index and the Global Satisfaction Index).  The Employee Engagement Index measures conditions that lead to engagement, such as views on leaders, supervisors, and intrinsic work experience or motivation.  The Global Satisfaction Index measures employee contentment with their job, pay, organization, and if an employee would recommend their organization as a good place to work. In 2014, over 390,000 federal employees responded to the survey.  The government-wide trend for the past few years has revealed a decrease in both indices.  Also, the FEVS results show a three percentage point decrease in employees’ views on agency leadership, the integrity of agency leaders, as well as leadership behaviors such as communication and the ability to motivate the workforce.
  • The Partnership for Public Service (PPS) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that works with agencies and others to make the federal government more efficient and effective. PPS produces the Best Places to Work rankings.  PPS uses questions from the FEVS to calculate the Best Places to Work index score that determines the overall rankings.
  • For 2014, the National Archives and Records Administration had an index score of 46.7 out of 100 and ranked 23rd out of 25 for mid-size agencies in the Best Places to Work agency rankings.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had an index score of 44 out of 100 and ranked 19th out of 19 for large agencies.  The U.S Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is included in the very small agency group and had an index score of 33.7 out of 100.  However, due to the small size of this group, the agencies in this group, including CSB, were not included in the full Best Places to Work rankings.  Finally, the U.S Government Accountability Office had an index score of 77.2 out of 100 and ranked 2nd out of 25 for mid-size agencies.

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
David Ferriero Archivist National Archives and Records Administration Document
Catherine Emerson Chief Human Capital Officer U.S. Department of Homeland Security Document
Daniel Horowitz (invited) Managing Director U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
Robert Goldenkoff Director of Strategic Issues U.S. Government Accountability Office Document
Karl Brooks Assistant Administrator Office of Administration and Resources Management, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency *not present Document

Related Documents

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