Saturday, October 01, 2016

Few Political Appointees Are Burrowing In, but 25% Are Doing It Without Approval

Government Executive reports:
Federal agencies converted relatively few of their political appointees into career employees over the last five years, according to a new report, though one-quarter of those conversions were completed without proper oversight.

Just 69 appointees “burrowed in” to their agency from Jan. 1, 2010, to Oct. 1 , 2015, from the 32 federal agencies the Government Accountability Office audited. Most were Schedule C -- excepted service, appointed workers who serve at the pleasure of the agency head -- and non-career Senior Executive Service employees.

Seventeen of the burrowers did not receive approval from the Office of Personnel Management, GAO found, as is required by law. OPM completed post-appointment reviews for 13 of those cases in which the agency did not notify it of the conversion, and denied the switch in four instances. In four cases it did not review, OPM said the employees were no longer in government.

Six of the 17 conversions that did not receive the required permission from OPM occurred at the Homeland Security Department.

Agencies told OPM they struggled to understand the requirements for reporting conversions, but have already increased training so human resource officials have a better grasp of their responsibilities.
The self-interest of government workers.