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Jessica Klement, staff vice president for advocacy at NARFE, explains what concerns employees about the potential OPM-GSA merger, and what might happen under the combined agency.

The plan to merge the Office of Personnel Management into the General Services Administration may be on ice. House Democrats have introduced language into appropriations and authorizations bills to prevent the merger from happening. One organization watching these events carefully is the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Jessica Klement, staff vice president for advocacy at NARFE, says that the reasoning behind the merger is currently unclear.

 

“There are a lot of places we are lacking details when it comes to the merger, which is a complete absorption. What I’ve heard people say is that they are going to get rebadged as GSA employees. ‘We’re going to keep that building and we are going to rebadge everyone as GSA employees.’ Then what’s the point of the merger?” Klement said. “How do we get to the meat of what is causing the justification behind the merger in the first place? If you’re just keeping employees and rebadging them as GSA, have you thought through morale programs, combining of systems? If you look at how a merger works in the private sector, this is something that takes years, right? They’re just slap shot trying to get it approved through Congress.”

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