Newly introduced legislation in the House (HR-6066) seeks to carry out many of the changes an outside study released early this year recommended for OPM, including changing from a focus on making sure agencies comply with laws and OPM rules to a focus on helping agencies with their challenges in attracting and keeping the employees they need.
That report, by the National Academy of Public Administration, said that OPM is widely seen as a “Mother, May I?” agency whose reputation also has suffered from excessive politicization. In September, the OPM said it generally agreed with the recommendations.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., who heads the House subcommittee overseeing federal workplace matters, would (in the words of a summary):
* Clarify OPM’s mission as the center of the federal government’s civilian human resources systems;
* Require that candidates for the director of OPM are selected without regard to political affiliation and that he or she have human capital and leadership expertise;
* Ensure that the agency’s chief management officer is a career civil servant to provide continuity and stability within the agency across presidential administrations; and
* Create a federal advisory committee to help the director better understand stakeholder needs, concerns, and ideas as they relate to OPM’s policymaking and operations.