House Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., introduced bipartisan legislation on Nov. 23 that the congressman said would help to rebuild and strengthen the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and its civil service leadership mission.

The Strengthening the Office of Personnel Management Act (H.R. 6066) would codify essential recommendations to Congress made in 2021 by the non-partisan National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), which studied how OPM functions.

Rep. Connolly’s office said the bill would help “establish OPM as the independent Federal agency providing guidance and leadership to foster civil service.”

The bill is co-sponsored by House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn.

“We successfully stopped the previous administration from abolishing OPM, now we have a responsibility to rebuild and modernize this agency,” Chairman Connolly said in a statement. “Federal employees are the crown jewel of government, and we must build a human resources agency nimble and prepared to help us attract and retain the talent our nation needs to provide vital services today and into the future.”

The Strengthening OPM Act would do the following:

  • Clarify OPM’s mission as the Federal government’s human resource center;
  • Require OPM director candidates to be selected without regard to political affiliation, and to have human capital and leadership experience;
  • Ensure OPM’s chief management officer is a career civil servant to provide continuity and stability across presidential administrations; and
  • Create a Federal advisory committee tasked with helping the OPM Director better understand stakeholder needs, concerns, and ideas as they relate to OPM policymaking and operations.
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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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