You may have recently come across news stating that President Trump is looking to dismantle the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). While on the surface this may seem like an apocalyptic scenario for federal employees, the history surrounding the agency may shed some light on the reason for the Trump Administration’s policy proposition.
Since its inception in 1979, OPM has been an operational and budgetary pain point for almost every President. This is due to the complex structure, snowballing inefficiencies and the flow of federal funds through the agency itself. Despite these historical criticisms and potential threats the agency remains intact. In fact, the President alone does not have the power to dismantle the OPM. It would have to be proposed to congress (which it has not been) and would have to be approved by a democratic controlled house. As you can imagine, this would not be an easy task.
However, let us for a moment process what a dismantling of the OPM might look like if it were to occur. First and foremost, retirement processing will not end. In fact, retirement benefits will remain unchanged unless otherwise proposed to congress, and we think the 2.5 million current federal employees will have something to say about that. Additionally, the President’s “dismantling” of the OPM would shift its responsibilities onto 3 other departments. The stated motivation for this is an attempt reduce inefficiencies and bottlenecks that occur at the OPM. As you can imagine, these inefficiencies can cost the government millions of dollars each year.
At the most basic levels these are worthwhile conversations to have. Though we don’t fully know President Trump’s motivations, we do know that the process of changing the OPM is a complex one that requires support on both sides of the aisle.
We work each and every day with the OPM and see first hand the hard work the OPM staff puts in to take care of and support federal employees. Our team of lawyers and case managers continuously stays up to date on all of the OPM’s policies and is leading the way in federal employee representation. If you are a Federal Employee you can rest assured that no matter what happens, you will still be able to get the benefits you deserve and we will always be here to represent you.