The Environmental Protection Agency wants to move some of its human resources IT systems into an integrated platform, according to a post last week in the Federal Register.
Called the Labor and Employee Relations Information System, or LERIS, the new case management and reporting system allows labor and employee relations specialists, HR specialists, and agency leadership to process grievances, demands to bargain, information requests filed by unions and disciplinary actions. “LERIS will enable LER employees to access case information across the Agency for use in determining appropriate disciplinary penalties when those grievances, complaints, unfair labor practices or disciplinary actions lead to formal judicial or administrative hearings before a judge,” according to the notice.
Currently, each labor and employee relations office manages its own case files within an isolated system that can only be accessed by that office — so, for example, personnel from headquarters can’t access documents from regional offices.
“We are implementing LERIS so that EPA LER [labor and employee relations] offices throughout the country can have access to all other offices’ files, thus facilitating information sharing, as appropriate, and promoting consistency throughout the Agency’s LER offices,” said Christie St. Clair, an EPA spokeswoman, in an email.
According to the notice, the system would be accessible from an Internet browser through EPA’s secured portal, and it would be able to track trends. The system would be maintained at contractor Xiolink’s facility in St. Louis.
Other agencies have been looking to overhaul their HR IT. And this spring, Partnership for Public Service and Grant Thornton LLP released a report on human resources in the federal government that emphasized the importance of using workforce data to manage more effectively. It also mentioned the technology’s potential to improve efficiency as agencies increasingly face constrained budgets.
“[A]gencies and the CHCO [Chief Human Capital Officers] Council should continue partnering to identify more cost-effective training and development options, particularly those making better use of technology and involving greater cross-agency collaboration,” according to the report.
Comments on EPA’s system are due Dec. 15.