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Department of Health and Human Services

Rein In Runaway On-line Mandatory Trainings

Every new mandatory training further saps the workforce productivity, and indiscriminately wastes more and more total effort. It is far too easy to make a training "mandatory," and too tempting by their creators to make them overly burdensome. For several years now, annual IT security training for anyone with a computer in HHS has required completion of 15 individual modules. There have been mandatory trainings in 508 compliance, ethics, EEO, HSPD-12 cards, No Fear Act, records management, and on and on. HHS is now promoting mandatory defensive driving training for anyone who ever drives a car (even their own) in travel status. There seemingly is no end. I have a sign that I frequently hang on my door that says, "Not Available For Productive Work - Doing More Mandatory Training Again." PROPOSED ACTIONS: All current mandatory trainings should be carefully reviewed and justified in an evidence-based manner as effective expenditures of tax dollars. Declare a complete moratorium on any new mandatory trainings until a system is set up to 1.) Require high level approval, 2.) Calculate the cumulative time burdens imposed Agency or Department wide, 3.) Minimize durations by limiting to only key information, 4.) Minimize affected individuals 5.) Justify frequency it must be repeated (annually is most common, but least justified). If one calculates the effort absorbed now (and it has been worsening), the increased productivity that would result by reining these in to a minimum level would literally equate to adding hundreds of additional Federal workers at no added expense.

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Idea No. 1138