A group of lawyers is encouraging the Office of Special Counsel to take special notice of the senior executive reassignments at the Interior Department, out of fear they could have dangerous implications for the future of the civil service.
Involuntary moves can negatively affect employee morale, cause increased Senior Executive Service turnover and may hamper SES hiring.
David Eagles, the COO of HUD, said senior leadership is committed to an engaged process to improve the agency.
Senior executives at the Interior Department say recent reassignments have demoralized the SES corps and agency leadership has done little to involve them in planning for a coming reorganization.
More senior executives chose to retire from the Senior Executive Service between 2015-2016 compared to previous years, according to the Office of Personnel Management’s latest SES exit survey.
Jonathan Alboum, the Agriculture Department’s chief information officer, is being transferred to the deputy senior procurement executive role.
The processes that the civil service uses may be broken, or at least badly in need of repairs, but the civil service workforce is far from broken.
The Office of Personnel Management released a new continuous development framework for senior executives to help them plan and track a path of professional learning and development.
The House passed a last-minute bill Friday morning that will replenish the Veterans Choice Program with $2.1 billion in additional funds for the next six months. The additional Choice funds are crucial, as they buy lawmakers and the Veterans Affairs Department more time to redesign the program. But the legislation is also packed with new hiring flexibilities.
The Office of Personnel Management is receiving more applications for the phased retirement program this year than it had during the first full year of its existence, but the numbers are still relatively low, given the large number of federal employees who are or will be eligible by the end of fiscal 2017.
It’s been a busy couple of months for the Veterans Affairs Department. But VA Secretary David Shulkin said he wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s pushing the VA workforce to embrace risk and begin making bold, fundamental changes to the way it does business. He said he sees the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act as one bold change that will improve the department’s employee morale and recruitment efforts.
The House will pass the VA Accountability First and Whistleblower Protection Act, clearing the way for the President to sign the bill later this week. Some lawmakers and veterans service organizations see the bill’s passage as a major win after years of debate over new accountability legislation. But federal employee groups say the bill would do more harm than good.
Both the Veterans Affairs and Justice departments believe they can easily resolve some concerns with the constitutionality of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. DoJ is concerned, however, that VA will run into the same issues that ultimately rendered a controversial provision on firing senior executives unconstitutional.
The Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which senators introduced last week, may have more momentum than previous bills. It now has 12 co-sponsors, including four Democrats and VA Secretary David Shulkin himself. Yet some federal employee groups and experts question whether the new bill has the teeth to truly tackle long entrenched cultural problems at the department.