Statement of Alphonso Jackson
July 24, 2002
before the United States Senate
Committee on Banking, Housing and
Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation
Chairman Reed, Ranking Minority Member Allard, and Subcommittee
members, I thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today
to discuss HUD's staffing, acquisition management, and information
systems challenges. I am happy to provide you with an update of
the substantial progress our Administration is making to address
Under the leadership of Secretary Martinez, the first year of our
new Administration was largely devoted to getting our management
team in place, assessing HUD's management environment, and formulating
viable strategies and plans to address the major management challenges
and program risks still facing the Department. In formulating our
strategies and plans, we strongly considered the input on HUD's
management challenges and program risks from the U.S. General Accounting
Office (GAO) and the HUD Office of Inspector General.
I believe our management team and the GAO share a common view that
improvements to HUD's management of its human capital, acquisitions
and information systems are essential to addressing HUD's remaining
high-risk program areas -- the rental housing assistance and single
family housing mortgage insurance program areas -- and to maintaining
adequate controls over other program activities previously considered
The inclusion of our management challenges and program risks in
the President's Management Agenda is indicative of the importance
placed on these issues. As part of GAO's Biennial Performance and
Accountability and High Risk Series Review for 2003, HUD already
has provided the GAO with several reports that highlight our progress
in addressing our management challenges, including our implementation
of the President's Management Agenda. We welcome the GAO's independent
assessment, and I am confident that they will see that we are moving
in the right direction to address our management challenges, reduce
our program risk, and improve our program performance.
Human Capital Management
Human capital is HUD's most important asset. We have taken significant
steps to enhance and better utilize our existing staff capacity,
and to obtain, develop and maintain the staff capacity necessary
to adequately support HUD's future program delivery.
Effective human capital management is the purview of all HUD managers
and program areas. We view our human capital management challenges
as consisting of:
- the need for strategic Human Capital Planning to link and align
our staffing with our mission, goals, and organizational objectives;
- staff shortages and skills gaps as a result of downsizing initiatives
during the 1990s;
- a maturing workforce with about half of the workforce eligible
for retirement over the next five years; and
- the need for increased use of technology to support organizational
improvements and accomplishment of goals and objectives.
To meet these challenges, we have taken or planned a number of
Management and Staffing Realignments
The first issue I would like to address is the realignment of management
and staffing that the Department already has undertaken.
HUD's June 1997 management reform plans were intended to realign
the Department along functional lines, with the separation of outreach
from program administration, and the placement of greater reliance
on automated tools, processing centers and contracted services.
These planned reforms were intended to enable the Department to
better utilize a reduced staffing capacity to more efficiently and
effectively deliver and oversee HUD's major program activities.
We found that the planned organizational and operational changes
were implemented with varying degrees of success. Some of the intended
organizational and process changes were never formally institutionalized
with the need for delegations of authority and the issuance of current
written policies and procedures to support staff training and ongoing
operations. In addition, some of the 1997 organizational and staffing
realignments have proven to be an ineffective use of HUD's human
As a result, decisions were made and actions taken to pursue separate
realignments of headquarters and field activities to better use
our existing resources. At headquarters, we reduced the reporting
relationships with the Secretary by 40 percent, including the following
- The Departmental Enforcement Center (DEC) was placed under the
direction of the General Counsel to consolidate our legal resources
in support of a strong program enforcement effort. HUD's program
enforcement efforts were previously under the Office of General
Counsel prior to the creation of a separate DEC.
- The Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) was placed under the
direction of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing
(PIH), in order to improve REAC's working relationships with program
staff and program partners and strengthen accountability for resource
use and results.
- The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) and Office
of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) were placed under the
direction of the Assistant Secretary for Administration/Chief
Information Officer, to streamline HUD's organizational structure
and improve service delivery to HUD's program and administrative
components. The former CIO is now HUD's Chief Technology Officer.
- The Office of Field Policy and Management (FPM) was established
as an independent office reporting to the Deputy Secretary, with
responsibility for oversight of HUD's field management and assistance
to program Assistant Secretaries in meeting program goals at the
field office level.
Our field office realignment and redeployment efforts included
- Substantial numbers of staff in the outreach function were redeployed
to understaffed program delivery and oversight functions, where
there is a critical need.
- New regional management positions were created to give HUD's
field operations greater operational control over the administrative
budget resources they need to pursue their operating and program
goals, and to strengthen the local focus on workload management
to meet national performance goals.
- All program decisions continue to be exercised by program directors
and managers under the direction of their respective program Assistant
We have formalized our realigned structure, with publication of
delegations of authority in the Federal Register, and are
providing current operating policies and procedures to support staff
training and on-going operations. These adjustments to HUD's operating
structure will enable us to more efficiently and effectively utilize
our available resources to strengthen our program delivery and oversight.
Human Capital Strategic Management Plan
A Human Capital Strategic Management Plan was developed in February
2002 to provide an overall framework for our human capital activities.
An important part of this plan is our Senior Executive Steering
Committee, chaired by the Assistant Secretary for Administration,
which is currently developing a five-year plan to focus on: 1) staffing
requirements, 2) organizational de-layering, 3) supervisor to employee
ratios, and 4) front-line service delivery. This committee also
will make recommendations regarding the need for new or revised
policy guidance to support the Department's new human capital strategies.
Staffing Needs and Allocation of Resources
HUD's past management of its human capital was hampered by the
lack of a system or process for estimating and justifying its staffing
resource needs, and allocating the staffing resources available.
In 2001, HUD completed the implementation of a new Resource Estimation
and Allocation Process (REAP), with input from all HUD managers.
The REAP was developed in conjunction with the National Academy
of Public Administration.
The baseline outputs of the REAP were used to assist in making
decisions on redeploying HUD's existing staff resources to address
priority program staffing needs in the field. The deployment of
resources in the prior Administration left us understaffed to perform
critical program delivery and oversight functions, while too many
staff were devoted to outreach efforts. REAP was useful in helping
to identify the critical staff shortages.
We are now in the process of completing the first quarterly validation
of the REAP staffing estimates through an assessment of actual staff
time reporting via the implementation of the companion process to
the REAP, the Total Estimation and Allocation Mechanism (TEAM).
REAP and TEAM information will help HUD's management determine our
staffing level request to Congress as part of our FY 2004 budget.
Our Fiscal Year 2003 budget submission did not request the full
staffing levels supported by the REAP for several reasons. First,
we wanted to allow time for HUD managers to complete the initial
TEAM validation process and to further analyze REAP and TEAM data.
TEAM was not in place when the FY 2003 Budget was submitted to the
Congress. It has since been completed and is operational. Second,
although the REAP methodology supported a significant increase in
staffing requirements (with a total level of 10,600 FTEs), it was
not realistic to assume that the Department could implement that
amount of an increase at the same time that the redeployment of
existing staff was also taking place. Now that our redeployment
of existing staff is completed, we have turned our attention to
expediting our hiring and orientation processes to assure that we
can fully utilize the staffing ceilings already approved by the
Congress. This is the highest priority for our new Assistant Secretary
for Administration and Director of Personnel, who were just recently
added to our management team.
HUD has developed a Departmental Succession Planning Strategy,
which includes procedures for workforce analyses. As a part of the
Department's succession planning strategy, we examined the top nineteen
occupations in the department in relation to continued need and
potential retirements over a 5-year period. An assessment was further
conducted in relation to HUD's four core program disciplines --
in the Office of Housing, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Office
of Community Planning and Development, and Office of Fair Housing
and Equal Opportunity -- to assess the impact of potential losses
over the 5-year period, and resulting skills imbalances. However,
critical staffing needs exist throughout HUD programs and the focus
will be on the entire Department. The Presidential Management Intern
Program (PMI), the new HUD Intern Program, the Legal Honors Program,
and the SES Candidate Development Program (SES CDP) are being utilized
to establish a pipeline of well-qualified employees to meet staffing
needs and anticipated skills shortages.
Training and Development
Training and development of HUD employees is a Departmental priority.
The HUD Training Academy has been enhanced and energized to move
forward with a new vision for the Department's training program,
which is focused on investing in the power and potential of HUD
employees. Agency specific technical training and career advancement
training are readily available to all employees. Several other initiatives
are in place to build a new HUD culture, focused on the value of
training and continuous professional development. For example:
- the new "HUD Leadership and Management Curricula"
was launched in April 2002, and features 38 courses, which provide
a comprehensive training program for supervisors, managers, and
- the "Operation Brain Trust Initiative" was launched
in December 2001 to utilize HUD's subject matter experts as "Professors"
to develop the supervisors, managers, and professionals of tomorrow
through the experience of HUD leaders today; and
- the "HUD Virtual University" is a new "e-learning"
initiative that provides on demand training, 24 hours a day-7
days a week-365 days a year, with access to online technical coaches
and experts for a curriculum that includes 1,600 web-based courses
available at the desktop of every HUD employee.
HUD's Program Assistant Secretaries have also been focused on the
provision of updated program handbooks, guidance and training for
HUD monitoring staff and program intermediaries. These are further
examples of our commitment to developing and maintaining a competent
HUD work force and program delivery structure.
The Department is acquiring an integrated human resources and training
system entitled HUD Integrated Human Resources and Training System
(HIHRTS). HIHRTS replaces 17 existing systems and will support workforce
planning, succession planning, forecasting, and identification of
HUD had already been recognized for its progress in linking and
aligning its staffing with its mission, goals, and organizational
objectives, and we have continued and enhanced that process. Those
linkages are made in HUD's Budget Submissions and Annual Performance
Plans. We further use a management planning process that links field
office and headquarters operating goals and other performance goals
with the Department's strategic goals and objectives under the Government
Performance and Results Act. It is important that HUD managers and
staff know their contributions to HUD's mission objectives, and
are held accountable for that performance. We assess progress against
our Management Plan goals quarterly, and annual accomplishments
are factored into staff performance evaluations and awards.
HUD is heavily reliant on contracted services in support of its
current operations. HUD's contracted services go well beyond facilities
maintenance and other routine services to many core program functions.
Given the extent and significance of HUD's contracted services,
HUD's acquisition management challenges consist of:
- assuring our contract funding goes towards meeting our priority
needs in a cost-effective manner;
- committing sufficient business area expertise to develop adequate
statements of work to govern contractor performance;
- maintaining a sufficient procurement capacity to timely process
quality procurement actions; and
- providing adequate oversight of contractor compliance and performance.
Our actions to address these acquisition management challenges
include the following:
- Contract Management Review Board - The Department has
re-established a senior-level Contract Management Review Board
(CMRB) to review and approve annual procurement plans for each
HUD component, and to approve all contract actions over $500,000.
The CMRB helps to assure that HUD's contract resources are used
to address the Department's priority service needs. The CMRB also
ensures the acquisition strategy is based on competition, is performance-based
to the greatest extent practicable, and treats small businesses
fairly and gives them a chance to compete.
- Integrated Program Teams - The Department is increasing
the use of integrated program teams (IPTs) to improve the quality
and timeliness of procurement actions. IPTs are groups of management,
technical, and contracting experts assembled to accomplish a mission-critical
procurement objective. HUD uses IPTs to plan the acquisition strategy,
establish the contracting milestones, develop the statement of
work, manage the contracting process through contract award, and
monitor the contractor's performance.
- Performance-Based Contracts - One of the President's
management objectives is to increase the use of performance-based
service contracts to twenty percent of service contract awards
in FY 2002. HUD is fostering a partnership between its contracting
and program personnel to increase the use of performance-based
service contracts, and is providing classroom and "just-in-time"
training on the development of performance-based statements of
work. In addition, the Department has established an IPT -- consisting
of information technology (IT), program, and contracting staff
-- to convert existing IT systems development and maintenance
contracts to performance-based. These efforts are beginning to
show results: as of June 30, 2002, sixteen percent of new service
contracts were performance-based.
- Small Business Utilization - The Secretary and I recognize
that small businesses are vitally important to job growth and
the economic strength of the country. The Secretary has challenged
HUD to award fifty percent of its contract dollars to small businesses.
To achieve this demanding goal, the Department sponsors small
business fairs and other outreach programs to publicize HUD's
contracting and subcontracting opportunities. Through these and
other efforts, the Department is well on its way to achieving
this goal. As of June 30, forty-one percent of FY 2002 contract
dollars have been awarded to small businesses, and I am particularly
pleased that women-owned small businesses have accounted for twenty-one
percent of the Department's total FY 2002 awards -- far surpassing
the five percent goal established by Congress.
- Other Acquisition Improvement Efforts - HUD has hired
a new Chief Procurement Officer to lead our acquisition improvement
efforts. We have also approved a fifty percent increase in staff
resources devoted to contract award and administration and increased
training and development of the acquisition workforce as required
by the Clinger-Cohen Act.
These changes are collectively expected to improve customer service
and contractor performance and reduce the Department's overall cost
Information Systems Management
Adequate automated information systems are essential to the effective
administration of HUD's large, diverse and complex program universe.
However, we recognize that HUD has antiquated systems that are poorly
integrated, inefficient and inadequate for meeting many essential
program management information needs. Most of HUD's systems support
is provided through contracted services.
HUD's major information systems challenges are to:
- properly prioritize Information Technology (IT) capital investments
to meet HUD's most critical business needs;
- adequately plan systems development to assure effective systems
integration and operation;
- provide sufficient business area support for systems development
- improve contractor performance and HUD's systems project management;
- maintain a secure systems environment.
Our efforts to address these challenges include the following:
IT Capital Investment Planning
We have continued to refine and institutionalize HUD's IT Investment
Management (ITIM) Process. Efforts were taken to seamlessly integrate
HUD's ITIM, or IT capital planning process, with HUD's Enterprise
Architecture (EA) and e-Government directives from the Office of
Management and Budget, to better assure efficient resource use and
effective business results. The IT capital planning process was
enhanced to incorporate an EA assessment of proposed projects during
the selection of IT projects for upcoming fiscal years. The scoring
of initiatives is linked to HUD's e-Government Strategic Plan, the
President's Management Agenda, material weakness and high-risk issues,
and other Departmental priorities.
HUD is also pursuing a performance-based, outcome-oriented infrastructure
contract called HUD IT Services (HITS) that is expected to provide
improved services and innovative solutions. Award is currently scheduled
for November 2002. The selected HITS vendor will partner with HUD
to specify, design, acquire, maintain and support the IT infrastructure,
ensuring that enterprise architecture considerations, standards
and policies are followed.
HUD's Enterprise Architecture (EA) initiative is designed to provide
Department-wide documentation of HUD's current business and technology
systems architecture baseline, as a basis for both better managing
HUD's current information systems and better meeting future information
systems needs. HUD recently completed a refreshment of the baseline
EA in the Enterprise Architecture Management System. The EA team
is completing work on the significant Single Family Housing segment
of the target architecture for future systems development in this
high-risk program area.
We have taken actions to improve IT systems project management
and correct past problems of projects not being completed on time,
cost overruns, and unlimited project scope. Through the IT capital
planning process, HUD conducts quarterly control reviews of every
IT project, requiring projects with significant cost or schedule
variances to develop recovery plans to get back on track. HUD also
provided IT Investment and Project Management training to over 100
IT project managers and plans to offer this training as an online
course later this year. HUD instituted project management reviews
at the highest levels to focus executive attention on projects needing
direction. As previously discussed, IPTs or Integrated Procurement
Teams were created to manage and implement the transition of IT
support contracts to performance-based contracts.
We established HUD's Enterprise Security Program to provide protection
for HUD's critical infrastructure, both physical and information
systems. This entails developing and implementing effective security
procedures, security awareness and training, disaster recovery/contingency
planning, and monitoring compliance and effectiveness of security
procedures, policies and standards. Significant accomplishments
have been made. The HUD Office of Inspector General's audit of HUD's
FY 2001 consolidated financial statements recognized both substantial
control improvements in HUD's mainframe-computing environment, and
considerable strides to improve software configuration management
for both mainframe and LAN-based client/server applications. OCIO
is responding to the Government Information Security Reform Act
through security self assessments, developing and reporting on an
overall HUD security plan, and providing a strategic Five-Year Plan
As you can see, our efforts to meet HUD's human capital, acquisitions,
and systems challenges have been extensive. Our efforts to better
manage our staffing, acquisitions and information systems have a
direct relationship to the excellent progress we are making in addressing
HUD's two remaining high-risk program areas - our rental housing
assistance and single family housing mortgage insurance program
areas. We welcome the pending independent assessment of our progress
through the GAO's biennial government-wide review of major management
challenges and high-risk programs.
That concludes my testimony. I look forward to working with you
to address the continuing management challenges facing HUD, and
I thank you for your on-going support of the Department.
Content Archived: June 25, 2010