At the 200-day mark the Trump administration “has struggled to build cohesive leadership teams across government or work closely with the career workforce to accomplish his goal of improving agency effectiveness,” the Partnership for Public Service has said.
It credited the administration with paying significant attention to government management issues by focusing on government reorganization, laying out a management framework, and committing to strengthening and modernizing agency IT and cybersecurity. “Success in this endeavor will require cross-agency collaboration, congressional engagement and leadership from the Office of Management and Budget to make it a priority,” the good government group said.
However, it cited as a primary concern the pace of filling top agency appointive positions, saying that as of Monday there were nominees for just 255 of the top 1,100 positions requiring Senate confirmation, and that just 51 of those had been confirmed.
“The slow political appointments process is also negatively impacting the career federal workforce. At the 15 Cabinet-level departments, less than 20 percent of the key Senate-confirmed positions are filled, with the departments of Energy and Commerce only having five percent of critical leaders in place,” it said. Further, just 12 percent of such positions involving national security have been filled.
By this same point, Presidents Obama and George W. Bush had nominated more than 400 persons for such positions and around 300 had been confirmed, while Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush had each nominated more than 300, of whom more than 200 had been confirmed.