After a series of protests, phone calls, and Capitol Hill visits, our union is happy to announce that we have successfully blocked the Trump administration from dismantling the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and politicizing the agency’s human resources policy functions.
In the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act set to become law, AFGE’s staff and activists were able to secure a provision blocking the merger of OPM with the General Services Administration (GSA), who, as the government’s real estate agency, has a mission that is completely different than OPM.
Under the bill, an independent third-party organization – the National Academy on Public Administration – will be contracted to do a comprehensive study on OPM and the challenges facing the agency and make recommendations for how to address those challenges. NAPA has one year to conduct the study and write their report. Then OPM has six months after the study is completed to report to Congress its views on the findings and make recommendations for changes.
The NAPA report is also required to include the views of outside stakeholders, including AFGE’s, and OPM is required to submit a business case for any changes they want to make in their response to the report. Members of Congress would still have to approve any future merger or reorganization, as they would now.
“This is a big victory for us,” said AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer Everett Kelley. “Members of Congress understand OPM’s unique mission, and we thank them for helping us stop this administration from destroying our country’s merit-based civil service.”