Fedweek

The White House has proposed legislation to transfer many functions and authorities from OPM to a new office within OMB, to be lead by a political appointee.

The administration has sent to Congress a formal legislative proposal to send many of OPM’s functions to GSA—other than the background check function already on its way to DoD—while creating a new office under OMB that would be called the Office of Federal Workforce Policy.

“Modeled after OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy, this office would provide overall strategic direction and coordination of workforce policies and regulations for the executive agencies. A Presidentially appointed administrator who reports to 0MB’s deputy director for management would lead the office,” according to an explanation accompanying the proposed legal language.

“Pending actions by OPM will not be affected. This section also transfers OPM’s rulemaking authority to the Office of Management and Budget, to allow the new Office of Federal Workforce Policy to assume a policy leadership role. By delegation and in practice, GSA will conduct the significant majority of this rulemaking,” it adds.

There would be a successor to OPM as a new division of GSA to operate the retirement and insurance programs and to oversee personnel services provided to other agencies on a reimbursable basis, with a director who would remain a presidential appointee subject to Senate confirmation. The head of the Office of Federal Workforce Policy would be a political appointee not subject to confirmation, however.

The proposal also calls for various other changes, including transferring oversight of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council from OPM to OMB, ending the requirement that OPM have a chief financial officer, and merging the IG office of OPM into that of GSA.