Senate confirms Springer as OPM director

Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies Appropriations

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The Senate confirmed Linda Springer last week as the new director of the Office of Personnel Management. The former Office of Management and Budget controller now faces the task of modernizing OPM systems and overseeing possible governmentwide personnel reform.

Civil service reform dominated Springer’s confirmation hearing June 15, during which she pledged that OPM “will be committed to a fair and effective implementation of any personnel reform that we undertake."

White House officials have said they will release proposed legislation that would replace the General Schedule of pay and promotion with a performance-based system. The Defense and Homeland Security departments are already under a congressional mandate to do so by 2009.

House appropriators, however, have taken steps to block governmentwide expansion of those changes. In the House Appropriations Committee’s June 21 markup of the fiscal 2006 spending bill for Treasury, Transportation and independent agencies, lawmakers voted to strike $2.6 million in funding that OPM had requested for a new governmentwide personnel system. The bill now faces a full House vote.

In report language accompanying the bill, appropriators directed OPM "to continue the implementation and refining of the new human resources management systems at the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security before bringing the system to other agencies and departments."

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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