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Federal Managers Association

Washington Report

  • In the summer of 2015, then-Director of the Office of Personnel Management Katherine Archuleta resigned from her position due to the cyber hack against federal employees’ personal identifying information. Deputy Director of Management for the Office of Management and Budget Beth Cobert took over the role in order to lead the agency through a difficult time, as well as develop the federal workforce. On February 4, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a nomination hearing to make Cobert’s position permanent. The Federal Managers Association (FMA) has worked with Acting Director Cobert since she was with OMB and strongly supported her confirmation.

    FMA works with Acting Director Cobert on the National Council on Labor-Management Relations and has often met with her to discuss issues such as the budget proposals, federal health care benefits, and the future of the federal workforce. In a letter to the committee, FMA National President Patricia Niehaus commented, “Throughout her time working in the Administration, Acting Director Cobert has showed her dedication for creating a sustainable federal workforce that not only examines the needs for current federal employees, but also future employees.”

    In his opening remarks, Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) noted the difficulties OPM has faced as result of the security breach and the need for leadership that will address the problem head on in order to provide peace of mind to the millions affected. He stated, “I know that Ms. Cobert takes these concerns seriously, and I appreciate how cooperative she and her staff have been with the committee’s oversights efforts…By working together we can and will make things better.” Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) echoed these sentiments on the need for a strong leadership. “A lack of critical leadership at agencies like OPM can – and oftentimes does – undermine the effectiveness of federal programs… This hearing will help us understand your personal involvement in the response to the breach so far, your goals for the coming year…” In her written testimony, Cobert commented on how she would provide the necessary leadership OPM and the federal workforce deserves. “Every organization can benefit from leaders who provide a sense of purpose, ensure people deliver against commitments, and are willing to roll-up their shirtsleeves and dig in with their workforce to accomplish goals on behalf of their customers.”

    For more information on the Senate hearing, please visit: www.hsgac.senate.gov. To read the entire letter from FMA, please visit the Legislative Action Center of the FMA website, www.fedmanagers.org.


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