OPM refuses to say how long it takes to hire someone


Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry earlier this week had this to say about the progress agencies are making on speeding up the hiring process:

The broader deadline is the one that everybody’s referred to, the 80 days. That’s the marker the president’s put out there [on how long an agency should take to hire somebody]. I admit, we’re not there yet on everywhere but we have hit some bright spots. We’re getting close to it at OPM.

That’s a little vague. “Close” could mean 81 days. Could mean 100 days. Could mean 120 days. I wanted to follow up and ask him exactly how long OPM takes to hire somebody, but he was hustled out of the event before I got my chance.

So I immediately followed up with OPM’s press office. Spokesman Marcus Williams wrote back to me that evening: “Federal agencies are individually submitting their time to hire updates and this information should be available to the public in January 2011.”

I wasn’t looking for governmentwide stats, since Berry previously explained OPM was still compiling those figures. So I wrote back and said that I just wanted OPM’s figures. After all, it’s the agency leading the charge on hiring reform. They should know, right? Berry seemed to know enough to make the claim that OPM is nearing the 80-day mark.

But Spokesman Edmund Byrnes just sent me this response:

OPM will be reporting its time to hire numbers with the other Federal agencies in January 2011.

So OPM just doesn’t want to say how long it takes to hire somebody. Yet another example of the agency’s transparency problems.


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