June 30 is the deadline for agencies to submit to an “initial, high-level draft” of restructuring plans as well as plans to “maximize employee performance” under an OMB memo issued in April that has led to a series of listening and planning sessions across the government–as well as substantial employee anxiety.
After OMB reviews those drafts, final “agency reform plans” are to be submitted in turn in September for inclusion in the administration’s fiscal 2019 budget proposal–which is to include what the memo calls a “comprehensive government-wide reform plan”–for submission to Congress early in 2018. Those are to include long-term workforce reduction plans.
Initiatives to “maximize employee performance” meanwhile are to include reviewing whether workplace policies “are barriers to hiring and retaining the workforce necessary to execute their missions as well appropriately managing and, if necessary, removing poor performers”; ensuring that performance expectations “are appropriately rigorous, aligned to the work that needs to be done and the grade of the employee, and effectively communicated”; and requiring that managers and supervisors “are held accountable for managing employee performance and conduct.”
By the end of this month agencies also are to report to OMB on near-term workforce reduction efforts, which are to be based on an assumption that the administration’s budgetary proposals for fiscal 2018 will be adopted by Congress. Although that is far from a sure thing, some agencies have continued to restrict hiring, most commonly affecting headquarters and/or administrative positions.
Administration officials have hinted that some first signs of intentions could become public as early as this week, and a hearing is set for tomorrow (June 15) in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.