SEPA
                                                                                              190B12011
       United States
       Environmental Protection
       Agency
                                 Cross-Cutting Fundamental Strategy
                             FY 2012 Action Plan Annual Progress Report
                     Strategy 5: Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities
  Continuously improve EPA's internal management, encourage innovation and creativity in all aspects of our work,
  and ensure that EPA is an excellent workplace that attracts and retains a topnotch, diverse workforce, positioned
                                           Executive Summary
In FY 2012, cross-cutting Agency actions under Strategy 5 focused on support of the President's pledge to make the
government "smarter, leaner, and more effective." Guided by the overarching application of strong resource
stewardship, our efforts were directed at improving EPA's ability to attract and maintain a talented and diverse
workforce and equipping them with the tools to work effectively in today's business environment. Our goal is to help
EPA employees work collaboratively to protect human health and the environment while operating with fiscal
responsibility, maximizing the use of limited resources, and demonstrating results.

Accomplishment Highlights:
S Reduced Unliquidated Obligations (ULOs) and Unobligated Balances: EPA reduced ULOs on grants expired as of
   October 1, 2011 by 63% to $13M and on contracts expired as of October 1, 2011 by 92% to $7.8M. The Agency
   reduced the number of active grants with project periods of 7 years or more by 23% (213 grants).
>^ Increased Telework Use: EPA increased the average number of hours teleworked in FY 2012 by 35%, well above the
   10% target.
>^ Increased Use of Video-Conferencing:  In FY 2012, EPA totaled 96,134 video-conference occurrences, a 73%
   increase over the FY 2011 baseline of 55,373 occurrences.
>^ Collaboration Tools: EPA's  new email and collaboration suite, My Workplace, is poised to enable more effective
   communication, coordination, and information sharing; provide secure access to information, anytime and
   anywhere; and help improve productivity and effectiveness. Transition to My Workplace will take place during the
   first half of  FY 2013, with employee training focused on email, calendar, and contacts.
>^ Advanced Design of EPA's Modern Workplace: The Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM) is
   working with  offices across the Agency to plan for and  build workplaces that promote collaboration and improve
   efficiency.  EPA began workplace analysis planning in Regions 7, 9, and 10 and three headquarters offices.  The
   Agency completed space consolidation  plans in Regions 7 and 9 and three headquarters offices.  Execution of the
   new space plan will be completed in Region 7 during the first quarter of FY 2013.  Plans to redesign space in Region
   10 should be completed by the second quarter of FY 2013.
>^ Integrated Sustainable Waste Management:  Region 9 decreased overall waste generation in the Regional office by
   12% and achieved a 97% rate for diverting materials to composting and recycling, in lieu of landfills, saving $45,900.
   Clear the Clutter efforts produced more than 30 tons of recycled paper and 8,000 pounds of e-waste and removed
   450 file cabinets and other office furniture.
>^ Reduced Average Time to Hire: EPA streamlined tools that make the hiring process easier and faster for Agency
   hiring managers, including:
         Released 13 standard recruitment packages  in  FY 2012.  A total of 23 occupations now have standardized
          recruitment packages.  Seven percent of successful recruitment actions in FY  2012 utilized a standard

FY 2012 Annual Progress Report: Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities                               1

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           package, a 4% increase over FY 2011. When used, standardized recruitment packages decreased end-to-end
           hiring time by an average of 32 days.
          Instituted the use of Adobe Connect during the hiring process, saving time and fostering a more
           collaborative process between subject matter experts and human resources specialists.
          Issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for shared certificates, which allows a Region/program office
           to make multiple selections across organizational components for like positions from a single certificate
           when using standardized recruitment packages.
          The HR Fast Track System is ready for testing. This online solution will provide managers with one-stop
           shopping to assemble their standard recruitment packages.
S  Strengthened Framework for Ensuring Workforce Quality and Diversity: The Agency issued the EPA Diversity and
    Inclusion Strategic Plan and distributed quarterly Diversity Dashboard reports providing extensive demographic
    information on EPA's workforce.
-S  Key Finding in Workforce Planning: A key finding from the FY 2012 Gap Analysis Report is that EPA will need to shift
    occupational series for approximately 236 positions over the next 4 years to secure scientific/technical skills and
    competencies to meet future mission requirements.

Challenges:
S  Reduce Average Time to Hire to 86 days: EPA's FY 2012 average time to hire was 94 days for all General Schedule
    (GS) and Senior Executive Service (SES) positions.  Factors that challenged the Agency's efforts to reach EPA's FY
    2012 86-day goal:
       To help manage the Agency's budget, EPA instituted  a hiring pause during the first half of FY 2012, which
       resulted in an intentional slow-down of hiring actions.
       The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) directed agencies to include hiring for SES positions in their time-
       to-hire calculations. The timeline for SES hiring does not align with the 80-day process established by OPM for
       GS positions.
       The interview and selection timeframe consistently exceeds the 21 days provided for in OPM's model.
       Other challenges: Many EPA scientific/specialist occupations require longer hiring times, and the 13-day limit on
       the period a vacancy is open (a key part of the OPM model) cannot be required for many positions due to EPA's
       collective bargaining agreements.
    Next Steps:
       Building upon an email sent to senior Agency leaders stressing the need for hiring officials to make selections
       within 20-30 days, continue ongoing partnerships and communication with customers/hiring officials regarding
       hiring targets and expectations.
       Establish quarterly targets as part of a graduated approach to meeting the 86-day goal in FY 2013, and issue
       quarterly "Time-to-Hire" reports to ensure headquarters and Regional offices are aware of hiring time
       requirements and how the Agency is performing.
       Create applicant "how-to" videos. These quick clips will be part of EPA vacancy announcements on USAJobs to
       assist applicants with navigating the site and completing their applications.
S  Modern Workplace: This is an ambitious, multi-year, cross-Agency effort for which we need continued
    headquarters and Regional leadership, communication and collaboration, commitment, and mutual adherence to
    timelines to ensure progress and success. Challenges faced in FY 2012 included the need to adjust the timing of our
    plans in response to funding uncertainties and the need to resolve union concerns.
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                                      FY 2012 Performance Summary
                        Strategy 5: Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities
             FY 2012 Action Plan Activity
                Status/Explanation
                 = Activity Complete
1.   Reduce time to hire and ensure a well-qualified and
    diverse candidate pool: Shortening the timeframe for
    making selections for Agency vacancies is the key to
    having the talent in place when needed to meet
    mission requirements. We expect to continue reducing
    hiring time by automating processes and improving
    hiring tools and practices, including increased use of
    standardized recruitment packages, to ensure we hire
    the best talent available (Supports Principle 1).
       Reduce average time to hire to 86 days, 10% below
       the FY 2011 baseline. (September 30, 2012)
EPA's FY 2012 average time to hire was 94 days for all
positions (GS and SES).

The Office of Administration and Resources
Management (OARM) continues to develop and
implement tools to reduce time to hire.
   Released 13 standard recruitment packages in FY
    2012. A total of 23 occupations now have
    standardized recruitment packages. 7% of successful
    recruit actions in FY 2012 utilized a standard
    package, a 4% increase over FY 2011. Use of
    standardized recruitment packages decreased the
    end-to-end hiring time by an average of 32 days.
   Instituted the use of Adobe Connect during the
    hiring process, saving time  and fostering a more
    collaborative process between subject matter
    experts and human resources specialists.
   Issued Shared Certificates SOP.  Allows a
    Region/program office to make multiple selections
    across organizational components for like positions
    from a single certificate when using standardized
    recruitment packages.
   Developed the HR Fast Track System, which is ready
    for testing. This online solution provides managers
    with one-stop shopping to assemble their standard
    recruitment package. It is scheduled for Agency-
    wide release in the second  quarter of FY 2013.
   Email issued by OARM to Agency senior leadership
    stressing the need for hiring officials to make
    selections within 20-30 days.
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                                      FY 2012 Performance Summary
                        Strategy 5:  Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities
             FY 2012 Action Plan Activity
Status/Explanation
 = Activity Complete
                                                         Key Challenges:

                                                           The impact of the hiring pause and subsequent 1-
                                                            hire-for-2-vacancies policy on the time used to make
                                                            hiring decisions.
                                                           OPM's requirement to include SES hiring in time-to-
                                                            hire numbers.
                                                           The interview and selection timeframe consistently
                                                            exceeds the 21 days provided for in OPM's model.

                                                        Other Challenges:

                                                           Many EPA scientific/specialist occupations require
                                                            longer hiring times.
                                                           The 13-day limit on the period a vacancy is open (a
                                                            key part of the OPM model) cannot be required for
                                                            many positions due to the Agency's collective
                                                            bargaining agreements.

                                                        Next Steps:

                                                           Issue quarterly "Time to Hire" reports to ensure
                                                            headquarters and Regional offices are aware of
                                                            hiring time requirements and how the Agency is
                                                            performing.
                                                           Establish quarterly targets as part of a graduated
                                                            approach to meeting 86-day goal.
                                                           Create applicant "how-to" videos. These quick clips
                                                            will be part of EPA vacancy announcements on
                                                            USAJobs. They will assist applicants with navigating
                                                            the site and completing their applications. The first
                                                            of these videos will be completed in January 2013
                                                            and will serve as a prototype for additional videos.
                                                           Continue ongoing partnership and communication
                                                            with customers/hiring officials regarding hiring
                                                            targets and expectations.
FY 2012 Annual Progress Report: Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities

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                                      FY 2012 Performance Summary
                        Strategy 5: Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities
              FY 2012 Action Plan Activity
                Status/Explanation
                 = Activity Complete
       Establish a baseline for assessing the quality and
       diversity of the candidate pool for EPA new hires
       through collection and analysis of information from
       existing data sources. (September 30, 2012)
    OARM, in collaboration with other Agency offices,
    evaluated data sources to judge their utility for
    improving our understanding of the quality and
    diversity of EPA's candidate pool. For FY 2013, we
    adopted a measure that utilizes the Diversity
    Dashboard workforce data as a basis for conducting
    targeted outreach and recruitment to under-
    represented groups.
    OARM distributed quarterly Diversity Dashboard
    reports providing extensive demographic
    information on EPA's workforce.
       Establish a baseline for assessing quality of EPA new
       hires through revision/ administration of an EPA
       survey for supervisors of new employees.
       (September 30, 2012)
By March 31, 2013, EPA will utilize two existing OPM
survey instruments to develop baseline data going back
through FY 2012 that captures:
   EPA hiring managers' satisfaction with selected
    applicants after 6 months of service, and
   Satisfaction of new hires with their new positions
    after 6 months of service.
2.  Improve workforce planning: Organizations use
    workforce analysis to guide organizational
    developmental opportunities, direct recruitment
    activities, enhance use of individual development plans,
    and promote team-building initiatives. This will broaden
    the strengths of the EPA's talent pool to better meet
    mission objectives. Workforce skill need projections will
    support management decision making on resource
    allocations and effective management of staffing levels
    (Supports Principles 1 and 3).
       The Office of Administration and Resources
       Management (OARM) issues a Gap Analysis Report
       based on workforce projections from program and
       Regional offices, analyzing potential gaps in mission
       critical occupations, and identifying the data's
       implications for hiring efforts, succession planning
       initiatives, and training/professional development
       needs. (February 29, 2012)
    Gap Analysis Report issued August 30, 2012.
    Key Finding:  EPA identified the need to shift
    occupational series for approximately 236 positions
    over the next 4 years to secure scientific/technical
    skills and competencies to meet future mission
    requirements.
FY 2012 Annual Progress Report: Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities

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                                      FY 2012 Performance Summary
                        Strategy 5: Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities
             FY 2012 Action Plan Activity
                Status/Explanation
                 = Activity Complete
       OARM will work with program and Regional offices
       to identify next steps in response to issues identified
       in the Gap Analysis Report. (June 30, 2012)
   OARM briefed and sought feedback from the EPA
   Human Resources community, including senior
   leaders and the Human Resources Council, on FY 2012
   Gap Analysis and FY 2013 Workforce Planning
   Process.
   Lessons Learned:  FY 2012 workforce planning process
   provided a foundation for expanding the FY 2013
   process.
       OARM initiates Succession Management Pilot
       Program focusing on developmental needs of senior
       leadership, including the Agency's Senior Executive
       Service (SES) corps. (September 30, 2012)
   Draft business case and guide for succession
   management beta testing is under internal review.
3.   Build a Supportive Work Environment; Take advantage
    of technology to improve collaboration and change the
    way we work, including enhancing our ability to
    telework and increasing employee connectivity and
    productivity, while reducing costs, energy, and
    greenhouse gas emissions (Supports Principles 2, 3, 4,
    and 5).
       Increase the number of hours teleworked by 10%
       over the FY 2011 baseline. (September 30, 2012)
  EPA increased the number of hours teleworked in FY
   2012 by 35%, well above the 10% target.
       Conduct and complete up to 6 collaboration tools
       pilots. (September 30, 2012) Two examples of how
       the use of these tools in the agency will help build a
       flexible workplace are:  (1) using an expertise locator
       to find employees with specific skills across
       organizations; and, (2) providing the capability to
       allow employees to post and share work products
       from both the office and remote locations.
   EPA conducted six mission-oriented pilot projects to
    evaluate different cloud-based email and
    collaboration tools.  Business requirements
    identified through the pilots were used in the
    procurement of a new Agency
    email/collaboration/professional networking suite.

   My Workplace will enable more effective
    communication, coordination and information
    sharing; provide secure access to information,
    anytime and anywhere; and help improve
    productivity and effectiveness.
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                                      FY 2012 Performance Summary
                        Strategy 5: Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities
             FY 2012 Action Plan Activity
                Status/Explanation
                 = Activity Complete
       Advance space consolidation goals by initiating
       workplace analyses in at least 3 Regional offices and
       a Headquarters location by May 2012 and
       completing space consolidation plans in those offices
       by September 2012.
OARM continues to work with offices across the Agency
to plan for and build workplaces that promote
collaboration and improve efficiency.
   OARM began workplace analysis planning in Regions
    7', 9, and 10 and three headquarters offices.
   Space consolidation plans have been completed in
    Regions 7 and 9 and three headquarters offices.
    Execution of the new space plan is anticipated to be
    completed in Region 7 during the first quarter of FY
    2013.
   Plans to redesign space in Region 10 should be
    completed by second quarter FY 2013.

Key Challenges:

   The need to adjust the timing of our plans in
    response to funding uncertainties.
   The need to resolve union concerns.
4.  Practice outstanding resource stewardship and ensure
    maximum use of Agency funds by reducing
    unliquidated obligations (ULOs) and reducing
    unobligated balances (Supports Principle 3).
       Reduce ULOs in expired grants by 15% to $17.6
       million and reduce ULOs in contracts expired as of
       October 1, 2011 by 30% to $67.5 million. (September
       30, 2012)
The Agency has exceeded the targets for both grants and
contracts.
  As of September 30, 2012, EPA reduced ULOs on
   grants expired as of October 1, 2011 by 63% to $13M.
  As of September 30, 2012,  EPA reduced ULOs in
   contracts expired as of  October 1, 2011 by 92% to
   $7.8M.
       By September 30, 2012, all Responsible Program
       Implementation Offices (RPIOs) must close out,
       shorten the period of performance, or provide
       justification for 100% of grants 7 years or older as of
       October 2, 2011.
   All RPIOs responsible for grants identified as having
   project periods of 7 years or more as of January 1,
   2012, certified in their FY 2012 assurance letters that
   100% of these grants were reviewed, and closed out,
   shortened, or had a continuing need for the project
   period length.

   Reduced the number of active grants with project
   periods of 7 years or more by 213 grants (23%) - from
   932 grants on January 1, 2012 to 719 grants on
   November 27, 2012.
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                                     FY 2012 Performance Summary
                       Strategy 5: Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities
             FY 2012 Action Plan Activity
                Status/Explanation
                 = Activity Complete
5.   Increase use of Green Conferencing and Green Meeting
    practices to reduce business travel and the EPA's
    environmental footprint (Supports Principles 2, 4, and
    5).
      Increase use of video conferencing equipment by
       10% over the FY 2011 baseline of 55,373
       occurrences.
FY 2012 videoconferencing usage as of September 30,
2012:
  Total sum of duration (minutes):  3,178,469
  Total sum of occurrences: 96,134

% increase over the FY 2011 baseline (55,373
occurrences): 73%
FY 2012 Annual Progress Report: Strengthening EPA's Workforce and Capabilities

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