House Conducts Hearing on PMA’s Federal Workforce Modernization

Late last week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee  (OGR) held a hearing on federal workforce issues entitled, Workforce for the 21st Century: Analyzing the President’s Management Agenda.

The purpose of the hearing was “to examine the workforce modernization provisions of the President’s Management Agenda” and “to discuss how the Agenda fits into the ongoing reorganization efforts and the Administration’s vision for a modern, effective, efficient, and accountable federal government.”

The hearing consisted of two panels. Panel one was made up of administration officials – Jeff Pon, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; and Margaret Weichert, Deputy Director for Management at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Panel two consisted of Bill Valdez, President of the Senior Executives Association; Max Stier, President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service; and Jacqueline Simon, Policy Director for the American Federation of Government Employees.”

Pon faced some heated questioning from the committee on OPM’s recent proposal to cut federal employees’ retirement benefits. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) incredulously noted that the federal workforce would lose $143 billion over the next decade.

“Is this really the Trump administration’s idea of developing a 21st century workforce?” Cummings asked. “It’s one thing to be aiming at efficiency and effectiveness, it’s another thing to take $143 billion out.”

“It’s not a one-for-one moving [of money] from one place to the other. It’s looking at the entirety of government and our delivery model of service,” Weichert said.

SEA President Bill Valdez noted in his testimony that the effort behind the PMA represents an opportunity to modernize the civil service.

“The PMA correctly states that the decline in public trust in government can be directly linked to public perceptions of the effectiveness of the federal workforce,” Valdez said. “I believe the answer lies in structural deficiencies in the CSRA. The CSRA has served our nation well, but it was passed over four decades ago.”

 

 

 

Posted in From the Hill

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