With just days remaining before agencies are due to submit first drafts of their “agency reform plans” to OMB, relatively few details of those proposals have emerged, although what has become public has continued to indicate that workforce downsizing is expected.
Under an April OMB memo, agencies are to submit initial recommendations by Friday (June 30) to restructure their organizations and to “maximize employee performance/” They meanwhile are to report on short-term workforce reduction efforts, based on an assumption that Congress will accept the administration’s restrictive agency spending proposals for fiscal 2018, even though they have just begun their way through the budgetary process.
The agency that has been the most public in stating its intentions has been the EPA, which has notified employees of an intention to offer early retirement and buyout incentives to more than 1200 employees, almost a tenth of its workforce, potentially starting as soon as the upcoming weeks. The Department of Interior meanwhile has told Congress that it projects a loss of 4000 employees, almost a tenth of its own workforce, under the administration’s budget plan for 2018 and has all but said explicitly that it too will offer those incentives.
Numerous other agencies have been the subject of rumors but have made no public commitments; that may change soon as the initial plans go to OMB, which will then review them for inclusion in a government-wide reorganization effort to be announced early in 2018 as part of the fiscal 2019 budget proposal.