The Trump administration seeks to eliminate the Personnel and Management Office, a federal human resources organization that handles the federal government’s approximately 2.1 million civilian staff.
The administration has threatened up to 150 OPM employees to furlough and even lay off.
The Washington Post received an inner briefing document stating that on October 1 these employees could be sent back without salary and then laid off after 30 days.
Administration officials confirmed this plan, The Post reported.
“This is a crisis building for years,” Margaret Weichert, who serves as deputy director of management at the Office of Management and Budget and acting OPM director, told The Post.
“We believe a legislative solution would be the most straightforward answer,” she continued. “But we’ve made it very clear we can’t wait without action.”
It is feasible to have furloughs and layoffs, she said, clarifying that they are “the last resort we are trying to avoid.”
For over a year, the Trump administration wanted to break up the OPM and reassign the 5,565 employees of the agency to other departments, although most of those employees would be transferred to the General Services Administration.
Why does the Trump administration want to break up the agency?
“Earlier this week the House Appropriations Committee approved $43.4 million for OPM, which will lose $70 million when its background investigations operation is transferred to the Defense Department at the start of the new fiscal year,” Federal News Network reported.
According to The Post, the Trump administration thinks eliminating the agency would save approximately $23 million.
“According to administration officials, the OPM’s current problems include a backlog of retirement-related paperwork, poor hiring practices and weaknesses in their security that left them open to a breach of their data system,” according to Fox News.
“This entity is not only failing in technology — it’s failing in its core mission,” Weichert said last month. “Administration after administration has tried to address these challenges.”