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 staff writer covering digital citizen services, workforce issues and a range of civilian federal agencies.

Before joining FCW in 2015, Noble served as assistant editor at the viral news site TheBlaze, where he wrote a mix of business, political and breaking news stories and managed weekend news coverage. He has also written for online and print publications including The Washington Free Beacon, The Santa Barbara News-Press, The Federalist and Washington Technology.

Noble is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, where he studied English, economics and mathematics.

Click here for previous articles by Noble, or connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.


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