Connolly introduces bill to 'rebuild' OPM

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Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), chair of the subcommittee on government operations of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, introduced a bill on Tuesday that would retool the legislative foundation of the Office of Personnel Management.

The bill seeks to designate OPM’s official mission as the “leader in enterprise strategic human capital management” and add the qualification that future OPM directors are “nonpartisan.”

This proposal comes months after the National Academy of Public Administration issued a report on OPM, mandated by Congress in the NY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. This came after efforts from the Trump administration to abolish the agency and merge it into the General Services Administration.

“We successfully stopped the previous administration from abolishing OPM, now we have a responsibility to rebuild and modernize this agency,” Connolly said in a statement about the bill. “Federal employees are the crown jewel of government, and we must build a human resources agency nimble and prepared to help us attract and retain the talent our nation needs to provide vital services today and into the future.”

The House Oversight and Reform Committee chair, Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) cosponsored the bill.

Some of the proposals stem directly from recommendations included in that NAPA report, which recommended that Congress clarify OPM’s mission as the government-wide independent HR agency.

The section of the bill on qualifications for future OPM directors also includes the criteria that they have “demonstrated human capital expertise and management and leadership experience.”

The bill also would create a federal advisory committee for OPM made of representatives from the public sector, nonprofits, federal employee unions and chief human capital officers.

About the Author

Natalie Alms is a staff writer at FCW covering the federal workforce. She is a recent graduate of Wake Forest University and has written for the Salisbury (N.C.) Post. Connect with Natalie on Twitter at @AlmsNatalie.


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