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OPM merger may lead to more questions than answers

Government officials recently proposed merging the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) with the General Services Administration (GSA). Since the proposal, lawmakers have been on leave for the Memorial Day Break. The Congressional calendar slates lawmakers to return to work today. It is likely the lawmakers will renew discussions of the OPM/GSA proposal's fate.

Where does the proposal stand? At this time, no member of Congress has stepped forward to sponsor President Donald Trump's administration's proposal to merge these offices. Due to the lack of support from either side of the aisle, critics state it is unlikely the merger will occur in the near future.

However, President Trump’s administration notes the OPM does not have the funds to continue operations. As a result, Congressional leaders may have no choice but to move forward with the merger.

Other logistical realities further encourage passage of the merger. For example, current plans already result in two of the OPM’s key business operations, the National Background Investigations Bureau and security clearance business, completing transfer to the GSA on October 1, 2019.

Are there other choices? OPM’s acting director, Margaret Weichert, has stated the agency may consider another option: outsourcing to the GSA until finalizing a permanent solution.

How does this impact federal employees? Federal employees that find themselves facing an employment law issue are wise to keep this ongoing evolution in mind. Federal employees can seek legal counsel to help better ensure their legal rights are protected while these agencies work to determine their future.

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