With the major parties’ political conventions now over, Presidential transition activities will accelerate, adding new responsibilities for agencies while at the same time they will need to fill in for increasing numbers of vacancies in leadership, according to the Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition.
“The agencies should begin to plan for the large number of vacancies in senior leadership positions that will likely occur during the handoff between presidential administrations. This will begin well before the inauguration . . . Career officials must be identified and prepared to assume the responsibilities of vacated positions, which may require additional training,”
“The career federal workforce remains in place regardless of who occupies the White House, and ensures that federal government continues performing many of its most vital functions. However, the near-complete turnover in senior political leadership necessitates significant planning by each agency to ensure a secure and efficient transfer of power,” it said.
Also, “The turnover in political appointees means that each agency’s ethics, records and human resources officers must adequately prepare for the departure of personnel and the massive influx of new appointees following the inauguration,” it said.
If they haven’t done so by now, it’s time for agencies to finish identifying and training senior career officials responsible for temporarily assuming the positions of departing political appointees during the transition. By this point agencies should have sent OPM an inventory of positions that may be filled by non-competitive appointment in order to list them in the “plum book,” it added. Also, it said, they should be watchful for a possible OMB directive to halt regulatory activity, avoiding so-called “midnight” rule making.