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Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget & acting director of OPM, discusses OPM’s reorganization, and what it means for management at the agency.

The Office of Personnel Management is looking to move several functions to the General Services Administration. Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at OMB and acting director of OPM, says that despite protests from federal employee unions and Congress, the reorganization is serving to reduce funding deficits and fix issues at the agency.

 

“There isn’t anything to hide here. This is a set of structural problems that have been well known to everyone ever since the 2015 breach. The root cause of the breech wasn’t malfeasance, it was literally that the entity was not structured to do what it needed to do.”

“I liken it to a threat perimeter. If you only as a CIO, have direct line of sight to a fraction of your spending on IT., your threat perimeter is bigger than what you can see. You don’t have the resources to man the full threat parameter.  Since the 2015 breach, we have spent most of our resources shoring that up. But all of the new things government needs us to do, to serve fellow employees, to make inroads on challenges we have on merit systems protections, to be more efficient in serving retirees and healthcare beneficiaries, we just haven’t been able to make those investments.”

Weichert said that most functions will remain in the same building with the same people, but the management style at the new OPM will be different.

“What will actually change is the ‘under management’ sign. When your favorite restaurant changes, it is still in the same place, most of the menu is usually the same. Some things might change behind the scenes, then over time, the menu might change a little bit. Basically, it is going to work like that. Weichert said. “The policy function is essentially just going to be operating with the same people under the same core statutory authorities, just under a broader management structure that has more flexibilities to support infrastructure.”

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