The Trump administration has made an official decision to dissolve the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and redistribute that agencies tasks to three existing departments in an effort to “drive what is needed to support the mission in all of government,” according to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“When we really look at the need for government overall, and we looked at the [OPM’s] design to support those needs, there was a fundamental structural misalignment between the challenges of today around our workforce and what OPM was conditioned to do,” Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget and acting OPM director, told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday.
OPM, which was formed in 1979, has the primary objective of managing the government’s civilian workforce. That means tending to health care, insurance, and retirement benefits, among other things.
The agency will be dismantled starting in the fall of this year, and its workload shifted to the Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Daily Caller reported.
One of OPM’s jobs was to oversee security clearances, which is a function that the DOD is expected to oversee, while the GSA will likely take over OPM’s human resources functions.
Just three OPM employees are expected to transfer to the executive office and be assigned new roles, a senior administration official explained to TheDCNF.
“The mission of this agency is incredibly important and in the president’s management agenda there are three priorities for transforming government for the 21st century,” Weichert told TheDCNF. Those being “IT modernization, data accountability, and transparency.”
“In the 21st century, mobility, agility, the need to re-skill people to do the jobs of today, these are all things that are not able to be done by OPM because it’s dealing with this legacy infrastructure, a legacy funding model,” she continued. “That’s the primary reason strategically this is the marquee reorganization that is needed.”
“Our goal isn’t specifically to reduce headcount,” Weichert said. “But we do think there are a lot of efficiencies to be had.”
“We have space utilization opportunities that we think are important,” she continued. “At the end of the day, our goal is to re-skill the employees we have, automate some of the lower value-added components of their work so that they can actually do more with fewer people.”