U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service said today it will centralize its human resources (HR) functions at a single location in Albuquerque, N.M.—for an anticipated savings of $20 million a year.
“This decision demonstrates the agency’s commitment to becoming leaner, more efficient and more cost effective,” said Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth. “A single center, unifying all HR operations, will provide the most consistent and cost effective service for our employees and managers. In addition, we will be more responsive to taxpayers.”
The choice to centralize units resulted from a year-long, agency-wide review of HR performance prompted by the 2000 President’s Management Agenda, which encourages federal departments to become more efficient and cost effective.
The study found that the main reason the cost of administering human resources in the Forest Service is much higher than HR costs of other organizations in the public and private sectors is because the agency is so decentralized.
Positions in Albuquerque will total nearly 300; the remaining 130 will be distributed throughout the agency. The Forest Service expects the move to begin in 2006.
Changes anticipated by the decision include:
- faster and higher quality service for HR customers;
- agency-wide consistency of standard processes and procedures;
- lower cost for the delivery of HR services; and
- alignment with HR industry performance measures.
Results of the review follow a June 1 decision to consolidate the Forest Service’s budget and finance operations at a single location, which is also expected to result in a significant savings for the agency. The Forest Service announced yesterday that the San Francisco and Pan American building, located within the Journal Center in Albuquerque, is the site for the agency’s national financial services center, which will house more than 350 employees. The center, referred to as the Albuquerque Service Center, will begin providing financial services to the agency nationwide beginning in mid-October. It is anticipated that the human resources operations will be housed at the same location.