Fedweek

IG said it could not assess the merits of a plan to break up OPM and transfer functions to GSA and the White House due to missing documentation.

The inspector general’s office at OPM again has questioned the White House’s plan to break up the agency, saying it “remains concerned that many aspects of the proposed reorganization have not been fully documented.”

In a report on management challenges facing OPM, the IG said that while the administration has proposed legislation — which has not moved in Congress — “the proposal does not include a reorganization plan, shifting the burden to the agency to fully study, plan, and execute reorganization activities . . . the specific details of the full OPM/GSA merger continue to evolve and every iteration of the proposed reorganization would fundamentally alter how agency functions and duties are performed.”

The IG had told a House hearing in May that it could not assess the merits of the plan because the administration had not produced documents such as financial, risk and cost-benefit analyses, a plan for the workforce transition and other management challenges, or legal opinions on the laws and rules involved. The GAO reported much the same.

The IG’s new report says that it “remains concerned that many aspects of the proposed reorganization have not been fully documented.” It said that agency management “appears to be aware of the inherent risks in the merger and has established decisional frameworks to monitor and discuss these risks . . . however, staff surveys have shown confusion and uncertainty related to the proposed merger.”

Without movement on the legislative proposal, it added, OPM “continues to explore ways to merge functions with GSA,” for example potentially transferring out its performance management office as well as operations of the Performance Accountability Council and Chief Human Capital Officers Council.

But OPM has not cited specific legal authority allowing it to do that and “has not conducted a business or cost-benefit analysis to justify” those moves, it said.