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Is this the end of the Office of Personnel Management?

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has a good reputation for managing retirement programs and insurance for federal employees. However, it is not known for its efficiency.

Departments have attempted to start their own personnel units to move away from the OPM. This was the first sign of struggle for the OPM, highlighted when both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense received approval to begin their own systems, in 2002 and 2004 respectively.

Additional signs of the demise of the OPM are present today. These signs include:

  • Loss of security clearance function. As noted in a recent piece in The Hill, the security clearance function of the OPM was recently transferred to the Department of Defense.
  • Human resource administrative functions. The same publication also notes sources claim the OPM’s human resources administrative functions will transition to the General Services administration.
  • Policy making function. This function, too, may leave. It may shift to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Congress created both the OPM and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) with the Civil Service Reform Act. As noted in previous posts, the MSPB has struggled in recent years. The move of the OPM could be a sign of change to the MSPB as well.

These signs are a reminder of the complexity that comes with navigating an OPM or MSPB claim. The agencies are constantly evolving and the rules that apply for navigating these claims can change. Federal employees can take steps to better ensure their rights are protected as they navigate through this system. An attorney experienced with this niche area of the law can help.

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