Fedweek

The Trump administration’s blueprint for reorganizing a host of federal agencies and programs, could affect the employees working in the affected function in a variety of ways, including job losses or relocations.

For example, OPM would become part of the Executive Office of the President and focus only on government-wide personnel policies while losing its current operating branches. Background investigations would move to DoD, while its retirement, insurance and HR services functions would move to GSA–which would be renamed the Government Services Agency.

Similarly, the plan would recast HHS, which already operates a number of benefits programs, as the Department of Health and Public Welfare by picking up food assistance programs from USDA. The plan further calls for merging the Education and Labor departments and for privatizing the USPS, either through sale to an existing company or through spinning it off into a corporation that would be free to offer its employees lesser pay and benefits.

It also targets for consolidation of numerous other programs that it calls duplicative across agencies, or among components within an agency, in areas ranging from financial literacy to food safety, and from civil works to wildlife management. Consolidations often result in job cuts, particularly in administrative areas currently being run separately, such as HR, budgeting and IT support; in some cases those services are being provided by contractors, not federal employees.

Consolidations also commonly result in relocations of employees, which in some cases might simply be a matter of switching to a different agency across town; in others geographic relocation might be required. The plan also mentions relocating staff and offices away from the national capital area, where about 15 percent of federal jobs now are located.