New OPM guidance on 'burrowing in'


A quick heads-up, in case you haven’t heard: The Office of Personnel Management issued a memo late last week announcing a new policy on political appointees “burrowing in” at the end of an administration.

The memo, from OPM director John Berry, requires all agencies to get OPM’s permission before moving political appointees into career positions (at all levels). OPM previously required permission for such moves only during election years. The policy, which takes effect in 2010, applies to anyone who has held a politically-appointed job in the previous five years.

OPM’s reviews will be conducted by career employees.

“Burrowing in” attracted a lot of attention late last year, as it does every election year: Roughly 20 political appointees switched to career jobs during the waning months of the Bush administration.


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  1. Sounds like the Administration wants to make sure Bush appointees (who did pay their taxes and served their country honorably) have more hoops to go through in the application process than than some of the Federal convicts the agencies hire. So much for a merit system!! Sounds like a good case for MSPB. anonymous

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