The previously proposed merger by the Trump Administration of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the General Services Administration (GSA) will soon dissolve. The administrative resources and functions that support the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council will return to OPM after more than a year under GSA responsibilities.
The move signals OPM’s commitment to engaging and elevating the CHCO Council as a strategic human capital partner. This restoration of these functions to OPM is also intended to “elevate and strengthen the connection between governmentwide human capital strategy and policy development, and agency-level human capital management,” according to an OPM press release.
The CHCO Council acts as the principal interagency forum to advise and coordinate activities on the modernization of human resources systems, improved quality of human resources information, and legislation affecting human resources operations and agencies.
OPM will rebuild the Council after both budget and staff have dramatically reduced, and Council activity had dwindled.
“The CHCO Council is an invaluable collaborative resource for OPM and the federal government. OPM is committed to partnering closely with CHCOs to help solve critical human capital management challenges that face our federal workforce, and I look forward to leading the Council as we work to rebuild, strengthen, and support the federal workforce,” OPM director Kiran Ahuja said in a statement.
The Biden Administration condemned the OPM-GSA merger and is determined to rebuild and reposition OPM as a more active leader in the federal space. The administration appointed Margot Conrad, a longtime leader at the Partnership for Public Service, as the CHCO Council’s executive director. She will help review the Council’s operations, resources, membership, and connections with other cross-agency councils.
Additionally, several working groups have been established by the CHCO Council intended to help advance the Biden administration’s priorities around diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. The Council will also be playing a critical role in assisting OPM craft personnel policies for reentry and the post-reentry work environment.