Federal Watchdog Finds Trump Administration’s Continued Efforts to Dismantle OPM are ‘Fiscally Irresponsible’

Aug 7, 2020
Press Release
The Administration’s Actions Could Cost Taxpayers $14.4 Million

Washington, D.C. (Aug. 7, 2020)—Today, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, issued the following statement about the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Inspector General (IG) report finding that the Trump Administration’s continued efforts to dismantle OPM are “fiscally irresponsible” and place additional burdens on both the agency and American taxpayers.

 

“This Administration continues its discredited attempts to attack the beating heart of our federal government — the agency that serves our dedicated federal employees—at a potential cost to American taxpayers of more than $14 million,” said Subcommittee Chair Connolly.  “Leaders at the Office of Management and Budget, the General Services Administration, and OPM once again failed to consider how their actions would affect their agencies, the federal workforce, the government, and the taxpayers.   This report is further proof that this Administration operates with callous and reckless abandon and in complete disregard of facts and evidence.”

 

The IG’s report details that the Trump Administration decided to rescind OPM’s authority to operate its own buildings without analyzing whether the rescission made financial sense, and despite preliminary evidence that it would actually increase costs by $14.2 million.  The decision to rescind OPM’s building operating authority was announced as part of the Administration’s plan to abolish OPM and place its component parts within GSA and OMB — a move that has drawn consistent bipartisan criticism.

 

On April 1, 2020, Chairman Connolly, Chairwoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chairman Jamie Raskin, and Rep. Jennifer Wexton wrote a letter to GSA Administrator Emily W. Murphy requesting any cost-benefit analysis of the proposal that had been performed by the Administration.  The GSA failed to comply with the request.

 

This IG report further demonstrates that the Administration continues an unfounded assault on the federal agencies and workforce despite continued requests for briefings on the agencies’ actions; laws that prohibit such action; two hearings that exposed a myriad deficiencies in the Administration’s plan; and six letters requesting analysis and information from OMB, OPM and GSA:

  • Letter to Acting Director Margaret Weichert on March 22, 2019.
  • Letter to Acting Director Margaret Weichert on May 8, 2019.
  • Letter to Acting Director Margaret Weichert on June 24, 2019.
  • Letter to Acting Director Margaret Weichert on July 15, 2019.
  • Letter to Administrator Emily Murphy on August 26, 2019.
  • Letter to Administrator Emily Murphy on April 1, 2020.

 

Click here to read the OPM Inspector General’s report.

116th Congress