from the hill

Lawmakers Call for Review of Political Appointee Conversions to Civilian Jobs

Four committee chairmen, two from the House and two from the Senate, have written to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to request a review of political appointee conversions to career federal civil service positions.

The lawmakers, including Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Chairman John Thune (R-SD) of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, made their request to GAO over concerns of appointees “burrowing in,” at the end of a presidential administration.

Noting that GAO last released a report on political appointee conversions in June 2010, the lawmakers are seeking updated reporting on conversions that took place between June 2009 and October 2015.

The lawmakers also ask for an assessment of the effectiveness of a five year old OPM policy that written authorization are required to appoint a former Schedule A or Schedule C political appointee to a competitive or non-political excepted service position.

“The possibility that political appointees are “burrowing in” – through favoritism in the selection process, effectively taking civil positions that would otherwise be open to the public and awarded based on merit – may affect the integrity of the merit-based federal workforce,” the four chairmen wrote to GAO. “Therefore, we are writing to request that GAO conduct a study to ensure that federal agencies and full-time commissions are following appropriate authorities and proper procedures in making conversions of non-career to career positions.”

Posted in From the Hill

Tags: Congress, Senate, legislation,

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