Challenges in finding ideal candidates for government vacancies

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Robert Shea, principal at Grant Thornton Public Sector, discusses the “pipeline problem” in appointing people to top roles in the federal government, and details what’s new in the OPM/GSA reorganization.


The State Department has a chief technology officer for the first time in 18 months, filling one of many vacancies throughout the federal government. However, with less than 2 years left in the Trump administration’s term, is it too late to fill the other open positions? Robert Shea, principal at Grant Thornton Public Sector, says that the delays are more than just confirmation issues.

“The pipeline problem is not just in the confirmation process, it’s also in the appointments process. There are a lot of positions where no one has been nominated,” Shea said. “We just transitioned to a new Congress so anyone awaiting confirmation has to be renominated. You see a lot of places where a previously nominated candidate has disappeared.”