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The hollowing out of the federal workforce
In the News

September 07, 2017

 These are not good days for those who have devoted their lives to government service. The State Department is demoralized, seeing a steady stream of departures, facing a raft of positions held by “acting” officials with no nominee even in the pipeline and losing visibility in an administration that favors hard-power solutions. A top official at the Environmental Protection Agency leaves with a blistering resignation letter.

The Washington Post


Report calls for flatter State Department with fewer bureaus
In the News

September 07, 2017

A new study of the structure of the State Department requested by leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee calls for a simplified and “de-layered” bureaucracy to develop and carry out the nation’s foreign policy – not necessarily because it would cost less money, but because it would it would improve the department’s performance.

Federal News Radio


Lack of nominees hampers Trump’s North Korea policy
In the News

September 07, 2017

The administration has yet to name an ambassador to South Korea or fill key Asia posts at the Pentagon and State Department.

National Journal


Vacant government posts hamper Harvey aid as Irma set to strike
In the News

September 06, 2017

The Trump administration’s slow pace of appointments has left vacancies in key posts related to emergency response, something that may hamper efforts to help victims of Harvey’s record rainfall and Hurricane Irma’s punishing winds.

Deputies are missing from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which spearheads relief in the early days after disasters, and at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which helps get storm victims back into lodgings. The Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t have a regional director in Texas whose duties would include responding to Harvey’s inundation of polluted Superfund sites.

Bloomberg


GSA, OPM administrators announced
In the News

September 06, 2017

The Trump administration has nominated its picks to lead the General Services Administration and the Office of Personnel Management. The nominee for GSA administrator is Emily Murphy, currently the senior adviser to the GSA administrator.

Federal Times


Trump announces HR professional as new pick to lead OPM
In the News

September 05, 2017

President Trump has announced his picks for Office of Personnel Management director and key posts in the Office of Management and Budget. Career human resources professional Jeff Tien Han Pon is in line for the top job at OPM, the White House announced Friday night. Pon was most recently the chief human resources and strategy officer for the Society for Human Resource Management, and he was chief operating officer for Futures Inc., a company that helps members of the military find careers in the civilian workforce.

Government Executive


Best-selling author takes on Trump’s rocky transition
In the News

September 05, 2017

Celebrity author Michael Lewis, whose influential financial titles include “Moneyball,” “The Big Short” and “The Blind Side,” is immersing himself in President Trump’s handling of the change in administrations. At this weekend’s National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Library of Congress, Lewis was asked about his next project. He riffed on how the carefully planned presidential transition process that involves naming 4,000 new appointees and mandatory departures of the outgoing administration’s political appointees, was mishandled by a seemingly apathetic Trump.

Government Executive


Appointee watch: Administration announces picks for key management posts, NASA
In the News

September 05, 2017

President Trump announced a long list of nominees to key positions within the administration late last week, most notably to posts managing the federal workforce, budget and acquisitions. Trump named Jeff T. H. Pon to be director of the Office of Personnel Management, replacing George Nesterczuk, who withdrew his name from consideration in July after going two months without a Senate confirmation hearing. And the president named Margaret Weichert to be deputy director for management of the Office of Management and Budget, as well as Frederick Nutt to be controller in OMB’s Office of Federal Financial Management.

Government Executive


Trump’s hiring, budget raises questions about U.S. Harvey help
In the News

September 01, 2017

President Donald Trump’s hiring and budget plans are raising questions about whether he can deliver the “better-than-ever” recovery he’s promised after Hurricane Harvey devastated a swath of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Trump has proposed vast budget cuts and leaving some leadership positions unfilled at agencies involved in disaster management. His Republican allies on Capitol Hill proposed spending some of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster money to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Associated Press


Trump not rushing to find a permanent head for DHS
In the News

September 01, 2017

A month after former Homeland Security secretary John Kelly decamped for the White House, President Donald Trump has yet to formally interview any potential candidates to replace the retired general as the head of the department.

With large swaths of Texas underwater and top staffers focused on pushing tax reform, the president is taking his time filling the vacant Cabinet post at DHS. Though White House aides have whittled the contenders down to a final shortlist, it could be weeks before Trump finalizes his choice, according to a senior administration official and a homeland security expert familiar with the conversations.

POLITICO


Appointment process broken
In the News

August 31, 2017

The non-profit Partnership for Public Service has identified 577 critical top-level federal jobs, a subset of the 1,212 jobs requiring a presidential nomination. With the help of The Washington Post it has tracked the Trump record in filling these posts. The results are disheartening. As of Wednesday, only 117 positions had been filled with Senate-confirmed nominees, according to the Post. Another 106 nominations were pending in the Senate when it went on its summer vacation. And 366 positions still had no presidential nominee.

The Post and Courier


Lifting the veil on another batch of shadowy Trump appointees
In the News

August 31, 2017

President Donald Trump has left hundreds of government jobs unfilled that require a vote by the Senate. Yet his administration has installed more than 1,000 people through political appointments at every major federal agency, handing over control of the government’s day-to-day operations to industry insiders and loyalists to an unprecedented degree.

ProPublica


Trump responds to Ingraham: We're trying to shrink government
In the News

August 29, 2017

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the understaffing of the executive branch under his administration has been a conscious choice as part of a larger effort to shrink government, pushing back against conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, who told Fox News that the federal government is short on manpower.

POLITICO


State to eliminate Obama-era envoys, as Trump signals he won't fill vacancies
In the News

August 29, 2017

President Trump and his allies have clamored for months that Senate Democrats are stonewalling top-level appointees -- but the president indicated Tuesday that hundreds of vacancies might just go unfilled. The president cast the decision as part of an effort to shrink the government.

Fox News


Harvey shows the anti-government crowd’s utter hypocrisy
In the News

August 28, 2017

The Freedom Caucus, like-minded GOP senators and right-wing Beltway groups see government as the enemy — all public spending as suspect, all tax cuts positive, all deregulation good — with little nuance or understanding of the essential role government can play in the lives of not only the most vulnerable but also the middle-class people they might actually know.

The Washington Post


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