In his Management Agenda, the President has stated that the Federal Government’s workforce is one of its most valuable assets. Our employees are a national resource, and the American public expects the Federal workforce to be managed effectively and efficiently on their behalf. The Congress, through law, also supports this goal and has required that agencies establish a system of human capital management with plans that are strategically developed, leadership that has authority and accountability, and performance that is measured and continuously improved.
Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs) are essential to the success of human capital management throughout the Federal Government. They are vested with stewardship responsibilities for Federal employees and agencies and also share a collective accountability with OPM for improving the strategic management of human capital throughout the executive branch. They exercise that accountability in part through the CHCO Council, as strategic partners with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The CHCO Council (Council) is formally established by the Chief Human Capital Officers Act of 2002 (Act), which was enacted as part of the Homeland Security Act, Public Law 107-296, on November 25, 2002. The provisions are effective May 24, 2003.
The purposes of the Council are to:
- Advise OPM, OMB, and agency leaders on human capital strategies and policies, as well as on the assessment of human capital management in Federal agencies.
- Inform and coordinate the activities of its member agencies on such matters as modernization of human resources systems, improved quality of human resources information, and legislation affecting human resources management operations and organizations.
- Assist member CHCOs and other officials with similar responsibilities in fulfilling their individual responsibilities to:
(1) Implement the laws governing the Federal civil service, as well as the rules and regulations of the President, OPM, and other agencies with regulatory authority that affects Federal employees;
(2) In accordance with those laws and regulations, advise and assist agency heads and other senior officials in carrying out their responsibilities for selecting, developing, training, and managing a high-quality, productive workforce in accordance with merit system principles;
(3) Assess workforce characteristics and future needs and align the agency’s human resources policies and programs with the agency’s mission, strategic goals, and performance objectives;
(4) Advocate and assure a culture of continuous learning and high performance, developing and implementing effective strategies to attract, develop, manage, and retain employees with superior abilities;
(5) Identify human capital best practices and benchmarks, and apply those exemplars to their agencies and the Federal Government as a whole.
§ Provide leadership in identifying and addressing the needs of the Federal Government’s human capital community, including training and development.
The Act establishes as permanent members of the Council:
(1) the Director of OPM;
(2) the Deputy Director for Management of OMB; and
(3) the Chief Human Capital Officers of Executive departments.
The Act also provides that the Director of OPM may designate other members of the Council. Such additional members may include, but are not limited to:
(1) the Chief Human Capital Officers of other Executive agencies; and
(2) members who are designated on an ex officio basis and who may be invited to contribute to projects, as particular skills and expertise are needed.
The Act provides that the Director of OPM serves as Chairperson of the Council, and the Deputy Director for Management of OMB serves as Vice Chairperson.
As required by the Act, at least once a year, representatives of employee labor organizations will be invited to attend a Council meeting. At the discretion of the Chair, representatives of other organizations may be invited to attend Council meetings.
Meetings will be scheduled at the direction of the Chair. Attendance will generally be limited to principals and members, as described above, and to others who are specifically invited or approved by the Chair.
When votes are taken, each Council member (other than ex officio members) will have one vote. Members must be present to vote.
Invited guests who are not Federal employees may express their views, but will not participate in deliberations or decisions on policy matters, unless the meeting has been opened to the public in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Note in this regard that FACA does not normally apply to Council meetings.
Minutes of meetings will be prepared by the Secretary/Treasurer, and copies will be provided to all members. The Secretary/Treasurer will maintain an official archive of all minutes and other official Council documents.
The Chair may establish standing committees of the Council and appoint committee chairs and members. The Chair may also establish one or more ad hoc committees to deal with specific issues or initiatives.
The Act requires that the Council submit each year to Congress a report on the activities of the Council.