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Career OPM Officials Will Review All Political Conversions

Career OPM Officials Will Review All Political Conversions

Jason Miller | Executive Editor | FederalNewsRadio

November 16, 2009

“What we are cautioning agencies against is creating a job specifically for a political appointee because of their background or politics,” Sumberg says. “As you would imagine it’s done rarely.”

The memo comes at an interesting time so early in the administration. Some could wonder if this is a favor to the federal employee unions.

Sumberg says that is far from the case. In fact, he says, the employee unions didn’t play any role in the development or writing of this memo.

The employee unions are in favor of the new rules, however.

Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, says she was pleased by OPM’s memo.

“The federal government’s merit system is of the utmost importance,” Kelley says. “To maintain credibility and attract talented and skilled applicants, the federal hiring system must be above reproach and this announcement by OPM maintains the merit system’s integrity.”

Starting Jan. 1, OPM will review all agencies proposed hires when there is a current or former political appointee involved.

“When they are proposing to hire someone, they will send us some of the background information such as the .job announcement, the application from the candidates, the description of the job itself and other supporting documents,” Sumberg says.

“We can review it and make a determination whether the competition for the job was free and open, and free from any improper influence.”

The evaluations, Sumberg says, only will be done by career staff in his office.

“Political appointees are not involved in any of the reviews or decisions,” he says.

Read the original at

Chief Human Capital Officers Council — OPM memo on political appointees becoming career civil servants

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