At the Trump administration’s one-year mark, its government management plans are hampered by the large number of politically appointive positions that remain unfilled, in many cases without even a nominee having been named, the Partnership for Public Service has said.
The group said that the administration “laid the groundwork in 2017 for improving government performance by challenging agencies to come with up plans for streamlining operations, bringing in new ideas from the private sector and outlining a management agenda … but it will require a firm commitment for improved management and focused leadership.”
It said that in its first year the White House made 559 nominations for political positions, of whom 301 have been confirmed. Comparable figures for prior administrations: Obama, 690 and 452; George W. Bush, 741 and 493; Clinton, 633 and 471; and George H.W. Bush, 478 and 405. Key management-related positions that remain vacant, it said, include OPM director, IRS commissioner, Census Bureau director and deputy secretaries of Commerce, Education and Labor.
It added that in addition to efficiency plans, the administration “should place an emphasis on employee engagement, recruiting and retaining smart, committed people to public service, and improving the citizen experience with federal agencies.”