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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


OPM offers flex for Harvey hiring
In the News

August 28, 2017

As government continues to respond to devastating floods from Hurricane Harvey, the Office of Personnel Management reminded agencies that there are exceptions in place to fast-track hiring of critical-need positions, despite the federal hiring slowdown.

Federal Computer Week


Where, oh where, are all Trump’s political appointees?
In the News

August 25, 2017

No one should fall for the notion of a conspiratorial “deep-state” cabal running the government, as some of President Trump’s supporters like to suggest. But there is a phalanx of officials who are powerful and influence the course of events: hundreds of presidential appointees across the government. They hammer out policy and then execute it.

The Washington Post


Lack of political leadership could hamper Harvey response, Katrina veterans warn
In the News

August 25, 2017

Career staff are well positioned to provide disaster response and assistance as Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Texas and Louisiana Friday, according to former leaders of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But the career employees could run into problems coordinating with counterparts at other agencies without political leadership.

Government Executive


Border wall standoff
In the News

August 24, 2017

In fiscal year 2016, DHS gained 3 percentage points. Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, stressed that the metric isn’t about happiness, it’s about getting employees involved and interested in their work. “If you get employees who are engaged you get better performance,” he said.

POLITICO


Is Trump making the political environment for top civil servants worse?
In the News

August 22, 2017

Uncle Sam can be a good boss in many ways, but his board of directors, a.k.a. Congress, and his chief executive, a.k.a. the president, can make life difficult for his staff, particularly those at the top of the civil service. A recently released Office of Personnel Management survey shows that work environment issues are “the highest contributing factors” in the decision of federal senior executives to leave government. At the top of that list is the political environment, followed by the closely related organizational culture and senior leadership. The senior leadership, dominated by political appointees, strongly influences the culture.

The Washington Post


Contractors see delays as Pentagon’s high-level jobs go unfilled
In the News

August 21, 2017

Top executives at four of the nation’s biggest government services firms have publicly griped in calls with investors about the slow pace at which key federal leadership positions are being filled, saying the vacancies are causing a slowdown in the pace of contract awards and making it difficult to plan for the future. They alternately blamed the White House for failing to offer up candidates and Congress for failing to approve those who have been appointed.

Washington Post


Fears grow that Trump could ignore Congress on spending
In the News

August 18, 2017

Lawmakers and activists are preparing for the possibility that President Donald Trump's administration, in its zeal to slash the federal budget, will take the rare step of deliberately not spending all the money Congress gives it — a move sure to trigger legal and political battles.

POLITICO


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