The Trump administration’s plan to merge the General Services Administration and the Office of Personnel Management looks to be tabled, but there may be another strategy that could work. Jeffrey Neal, senior Vice President at ICF and former chief human capital officer at the Department of Homeland security, proposes creating a cabinet-level agency for federal management. Neal told Government Matters that he believes such a proposal could pass congressional criticism.
“This is not a threat to the merit based civil service. In some respects, It will strengthen the civil service. It totally separates into different bureaus the policymaking and the oversight and accountability,” Neal said “There would be a bureau focused on oversight and accountability that would absorb things like MSPB and the Office of Government Ethics; I would go so far as to give that under secretary independent enforcement authority. For example, If I am a government manager and a commit a prohibited personnel practice and they say, ‘we won’t do anything because we think that Jeff is great,’ that organization can go ahead and fire me.”