May 17, 2019

Tim Kauffman

[email protected]

Abolishing OPM Could Result in Politicizing the Federal Workforce, Union Warns

Categories: OPM, AFGE National President

Trump plan would move civil service oversight to unconfirmed White House political appointee

WASHINGTON – In response to the Trump administration’s legislative proposal submitted to Congress yesterday that would eliminate the Office of Personnel Management as an independent agency, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement:

“The legislative proposal that the White House issued late Thursday reveals the administration’s intention to politicize the civil service and at the same time shows a complete disregard for the actual substance of the work performed by OPM to support the federal workforce.

“The administration’s proposal transfers regulatory and policy authority to OMB but sends operational responsibilities to GSA. This separation is important. An individual in the Office of Federal Workforce Policy in OMB will have primary responsibility for the development of personnel policy and regulations. This position will not require Senate confirmation, and as such, will not be directly answerable to Congress.

“The position will effectively serve the president; it is explicitly a part of the president’s staff. What this means is that the person who has responsibility for regulations and federal workforce policy will answer only to the White House and the top political appointees at OMB. This represents a serious risk to the political independence of the civil service. The current administration obviously deems this risk to be either unimportant or desirable. But I ask lawmakers to take this risk seriously.”

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