FMA DISMAYED BY REPORTS OF POTENTIAL FURLOUGHS AND LAYOFFS AT OPM - June 21, 2019
Alexandria, VA – Earlier this week, The Washington Post published part of a briefing document from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) detailing furloughs and layoffs of 150 OPM employees beginning in August if Congress does not approve the administration’s proposed merger of OPM with the General Services Administration (GSA). Federal Managers Association (FMA) National President Renee Johnson made the following comments on the news:
"It is concerning to learn of OPM’s plans for furloughs if Congress does not enact the proposed merger of OPM and GSA. FMA expressed objections with the merger regarding the politicization of human resources, and there was clear skepticism and criticism shared by both Democrats and Republicans at the May 2019 Government Operations Subcommittee hearing on the proposal. The Government Accountability Office and OPM’s own Inspector General also pointedly offered criticism for the lack of detail and transparency regarding the proposal.
“We take OPM at its word that issuing furlough notices to its employees is ‘not OPM leadership’s intent.’ However, as with the partial government shutdown earlier this year, the reality is many hard-working federal employees may once again be thrust into an uncomfortable and avoidable scenario with their jobs in jeopardy. This comes despite OPM acknowledging the House Appropriations Committee has advanced a funding bill that would provide a ‘temporary solution,’ that would avoid immediate furloughs and potential layoffs. Certainly, a temporary solution, allowing more time for Congress to evaluate longer-term solutions would be preferable to furloughs and reductions in force – particularly when the one proposed long-term solution the administration offered was met with vast bipartisan concern and apprehension.”