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Trump on track to dismantle the Office of Personnel Management

Closeup of Donald Trump in the oval office
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump is planning to use his executive powers to remove a federal agency, in line with his administration's goal of cutting what it sees as wasteful spending and inefficiencies, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: By the fall, the Office of Personnel Management anticipates an executive order that will break up the agency and, at first, assign its responsibilities to 3 different departments. The administration reportedly does not intend to lay off any of its 5,565 employees, but will eventually shrink its workforce through retirements and unfilled vacancies.

  • The Defense Department would take over background checks for government job applicants.
  • The General Services Administration would manage human resources tasks like training, payroll and the inspector general's office.
  • The Office of Management and Budget would handle "high-level policies governing federal employees," per the Post.

Why it matters: Labor activists say moving federal employees closer to the White House would signal a "dangerous" politicization of the civil service. But the Post notes that both the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016 considered doing the same, especially after Chinese hackers stole more than 20 million personnel records in a massive cybersecurity breach in 2015.