President Donald Trump is moving to dismantle the Office of Personnel Management, The Washington Post is reporting.
If the office is eliminated, the closure could serve as a blueprint for closing down other departments as the administration tries to reduce the size of the government, the newspaper said.
The 5,565 employee agency would see its functions divided among three other departments. An executive order directing parts of the transition is in the last stages of reviews administration officials tell the newspaper.
“It’s a big, exemplary step,” said Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget and acting OPM director.
The agency was created to oversee the civil service in 1978. But Weichert said it was “fundamentally not set up for success, structurally.”
Trump is expected to make an announcement about the anticipated executive order by the summer, the Post said. OPM employees were briefed during a March meeting.
Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., chairman of a House Oversight Committee panel on government operations, has questioned the need to eliminate the OPM.
He plans to hold hearings on the issue this spring.
However, if Trump does go ahead with the plans, it would be the first time since World War II, that a president has eliminated a major federal agency, the newspaper noted.
“We’re very good at creating new entities,” said John Palguta, a retired executive with the Merit Systems Protection Board, “but we haven’t abolished very much. I haven’t seen this kind of wholesale dismantlement of an independent, executive branch agency.”
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