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Connolly, Mfume Introduce Legislation to Protect and Strengthen the Office of Personnel Management

Today, Congressman Gerald E. Connolly, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation, and Congressman Kweisi Mfume (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations and the Federal Workforce, introduced the Office of Personnel Management Reform Act.  This bill is the culmination of years of bipartisan efforts to revitalize the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the backbone of the federal government’s human resources operations.


“Not long ago, the previous administration attempted to abolish OPM. Now, we recognize our responsibility to rebuild and modernize this agency,” Connolly said. “Federal employees are the crown jewel of government, and we have a duty to provide them a fully equipped human resources agency. We must both attract and retain the talent our nation needs today and for years to come.”


"It is absolutely critical to support our federal employees. Furnishing them with a modernized agency with resources to support our governmental workforce is imperative. This legislation will provide the tools the OPM needs to fully execute on its mission, and I am proud to co-lead this effort,” said Mfume. 


Connolly led a bipartisan effort to commission a National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) study on OPM, its functions, and possible methods of improvement. This study was authorized as part of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and produced recommendations for Congress, the President, and OPM to address issues hampering the agency’s ability to provide for the federal workforce, serve as an essential resource federal human capital innovation, and bolster federal employee hiring flexibilities, training opportunities, and retirement processing.


The Office of Personnel Management Reform Act would codify essential recommendations to Congress that emerged from NAPA’s March 2021 final report and help re-establish OPM as the independent federal agency that provides guidance and leadership to foster this nation’s expert civil service.


The legislation would:

  • Clarify OPM’s mission as the center of the federal government’s civilian Human Resources systems;
  • Require that candidates for the Director of OPM are selected without regard to political affiliation and that he or she have human capital and leadership expertise;
  • Ensure that the agency’s Chief Management Officer is a career civil servant to provide continuity and stability within the agency across presidential administrations; and
  • Create a federal advisory committee to help the Director better understand stakeholder needs, concerns, and ideas as they relate to OPM’s policymaking and operations.

The Office of Personnel Management Reform Act is endorsed by the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), and the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE).


Text of the legislation is available here.


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