Hiring, Retaining Staff Poses Challenges to US Interior Dept.
The Interior has taken a few actions to improve their recruiting efforts, Rusco noted, which include:
- Developing a marketing strategy
- Broadening recruiting efforts
- Offering internships
The Interior has navigated major challenges in its oversight of oil and gas activities on federal lands and waters – including a major reorganization of its oil and gas oversight activities amid a dramatic increase in domestic oil and gas development. These changes require experienced staff with highly specialized training and skills, GAO noted in its report.
“Interior has faced long-standing challenges hiring and retaining these staff and, with the current energy boom and increased industry competition for skilled workers, these problems have been exacerbated,” Rusco said.
While the Interior has addressed these two crippling issues and have made progress, the report noted, difficulties persist.
“In reorganizing from MMS to the three bureaus, they still have the same responsibilities, and so any shortages in staff in key positions would still be felt, now their MMS is now three entities instead of one. I think that, particularly in BLM where they’re planning development and looking at environmental assessments, and planning resale’s, they’ll have shortages in those positions and those shortages would still be acute,” remarked Rusco.
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