The Trump administration’s plan for reforming the government and reducing the federal workforce (issued April 11), while ending the government-wide hiring freeze imposed in February, lays out a series of guiding principles that agencies are to follow:

* create a lean, accountable, more efficient government that works for the American people;
* focus the federal government on effectively and efficiently delivering those programs that are the highest needs to citizens and where there is a unique federal role rather than assuming current programs are optimally designed or even needed;
* align the federal workforce to meet the needs of today and the future rather than the requirements of the past; and,
* strengthen agencies by removing barriers that hinder front-line employees from delivering results.”

It tells agencies to:

*  “determine the appropriate staffing levels for different programs to accomplish their objectives” based not just on past staffing levels but also on other data such as time studies;
*  examine the total cost of their personnel, not just the number of employees, saying it may be “more efficient to restructure duties to enable additional lower-graded employees to do lower-level work previously assigned to higher-graded positions, and consolidate the higher-graded work into fewer positions”;
*  review their structure to “accomplish the work with the fewest amount of management layers needed to provide for appropriate risk management, oversight, and accountability”; and
*  review positions as they become vacant to determine whether the position fits current mission needs and whether the duties can be reassigned to lower organizational levels or a lower grade.