OPM head warns against 'burrowing in'

Watch out for burrowers, warns Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry.

"Burrowing in” is the slang term for political appointees trying to turn their positions into career civil service jobs so they can stay on even when a new president comes into office, or even when a first-term president gets re-elected. According to a report in Federal Times, Berry has issued a memo to the leaders of agencies to remind them that personnel actions must “remain free of political influence or other improprieties and meet all relevant civil service laws, rules and regulations.”

"Critics such as federal labor unions and management associations say that the practice [of burrowing in] corrupts the federal government’s merit system," wrote Stephen Losey in the Times.

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Reader comments

Thu, Jun 14, 2012

I agree. I have seen it also. When someone writes the key words and qualifications to their resume, they get a 100% match, even with outside evaluation. That is why it is hard to get GS12 or 13 positions. In the same manner, political appointees know they may become unemployed with administration changes. Therefore, they must keep some avenue open for later employment in corporate America. We must remember no system is perfect.

Thu, Jun 14, 2012

Have seen that many times, senior military officers create a position and shortly after retirement, they oddly enough are filling that spot.

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