Workforce

Watchdogs want to root out burrowing feds

Burrowing marmot. Shutterstock image.

Are political appointees "burrowing" into the federal civil service?

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee want to ferret out political appointees who slip into career positions for which they might not be qualified.

In a June 30 letter to the Office of Personnel Management, committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) asked for a breakdown of political-to-career transitions.

Agencies' politically motivated conversions "run the risk of overlooking more qualified career applicants," Chaffetz said.

OPM has long discouraged the practice, which has come to be known as "burrowing in."

Seeking information on all such moves from September 2015 to now, Chaffetz said his committee was particularly interested in the details – including salaries and titles -- of the career jobs that political appointees are taking.

He also requested all pre-employment reviews and a full report on transitions for which OPM did not receive adequate justification from the hire’s agency.

Chaffetz wants the information by July 14.

About the Author

Zach Noble is a former FCW staff writer.

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