WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is urging Senate members to oppose the confirmation of Dale Cabaniss as director of the Office of Personnel Management.
“The Trump administration is hellbent on dismantling OPM and, in turn, undermining management of the federal workforce by politicizing our civil service,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “So it’s no surprise that President Trump has nominated someone to lead the agency who has such an abysmal management record.
“When Ms. Cabaniss led the Federal Labor Relations Authority under President George W. Bush, case backlogs grew exponentially as worker morale and productivity plummeted. Putting Ms. Cabaniss in charge of OPM will only hasten the agency’s demise,” Cox said.
As noted in a recent Government Executive article, employee morale at the FLRA plummeted while Cabaniss was in charge. More than 40% of the career workforce left during her tenure, resulting in a significant drop-off in agency productivity. Decisions issued by the FLRA during Cabaniss’ tenure were overturned on appeal 55% of the time, demonstrating her ineffectiveness in the job.
“The Trump administration is in the process of trying to dismantle OPM, sending its operations to the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Defense, and the Executive Office of the President. AFGE is working to defend OPM and to prevent this reckless action from going forward, but if some or all of the administration’s plan is carried out, to forestall a worst-case-scenario outcome, it will be important to have a director of OPM who appreciates the merit system and the civil service,” AFGE Legislative Director Alethea Predeoux wrote in a May 7 letter to leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which held a confirmation hearing on Cabaniss May 7.
“OPM’s mission is extremely important to the entire government. By its own description, OPM ‘provides human resources leadership and support to federal agencies and helps the federal workforce achieve their aspirations as they serve the American people,’ with a mission ‘to lead and serve the federal government in enterprise human resource management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted effective civilian workforce.’ That is a serious responsibility. The job should go to someone with a record of effective employee management, one who understands the importance of an apolitical civil service and employee morale and respects the mission of the agency,” Predeoux wrote.