The Washington Post

Federal employees say government innovation is slipping

Federal employees say government innovation is on the decline, according to the results from last year’s federal-worker viewpoint survey.

The Partnership for Public Service released a report Tuesday that showed government-wide innovation scores had dropped by nearly 2 percentage points from 2011 to 2012.

(Wikimedia Commons) (Wikimedia Commons)

Ninety-one percent of employees said they are always looking to improve their work, but only 57 percent said they feel encouraged to do so, and just 36 percent said their agencies  reward creativity and innovation, the survey results showed.

“Government is slipping on innovation at a time when its ability to be creative is paramount, given the increasing needs for its services and the reduction in available resources,” the partnership said in its report.

The group recommended that agencies do more to emphasize the importance of innovation and provide concrete examples of success, foster collaboration among workers and offer incentives to reward fresh approaches.

The Transportation Security Administration finished with the worst score among agency subcomponents at 47.3 percent. The Veterans Benefits Administration placed sixth from the bottom at 51.2 percent, barely edging out Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which placed one spot below with 50.9 percent.

The scores reflect the percentage of employees who think positively of their agencies in terms of innovation.

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Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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