Fedweek

fedweek.com | pay raise announcement august

Specifics of agency reorganization plans will be announced in the coming weeks, OMB deputy director for management Margaret Weichert has said, adding that “the focus is not primarily on downsizing.”

“The focus is primarily on mission, on service to the American people,” she told a House hearing examining the Trump administration’s priorities for the federal workforce.

She was responding from questions from Democrats about those plans, which OMB told agencies to begin writing more than a year ago. That memo indicated that final plans would be in the administration’s budget proposal of early this year; however, neither that proposal nor the more recently issued President’s Management Agenda contained specifics.

Congressional Democrats have been pressing for details but OMB has refused to release them, claiming that internal deliberations still are under way. Democrats argue in turn that in some cases the reorganizations already are happening, citing for example transfers of numerous career senior executives at the Interior Department and a restructuring at the Agriculture Department. The FLRA meanwhile has been pushing ahead with plans to close two of its seven regional offices.

Weichert said the reorganization plan will reflect feedback from federal employees and the public and will take into account findings such as those in GAO reports about duplication and overlap and programs at high risk of fraud and mismanagement.

When the full plan is released a dispute almost certainly will arise over how much leeway agencies will have in the face of language in a budget agreement signed into law in March. That language bars spending to “increase, eliminate, or reduce funding for a program, project or activity . . . until such proposed change is subsequently enacted in an appropriation act, or unless such change is made pursuant to the reprogramming or transfer provisions” of an enacted law.