By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

Workforce

OPM stonewalls probe of possible civil service violations, IG says

An agency watchdog and a senior member of the House Oversight Committee are contending that the Office of Personnel Management has repeatedly failed to respond in a timely manner to requests to turn over relevant records during the course of an investigation into White House hiring practices, in an apparent violation of federal law.

OPM acting Inspector General Norbert Vint told members of the House and Senate appropriators in a July 22 letter that he had requested agency records on June 9, expecting to receive them by June 17, but that OPM had repeatedly pushed back their timeline to comply to as late as July 17.

An OPM spokesperson said that the documents requested were submitted July 22.

Vint is looking to investigate OPM's use and delegation of direct hire authority.

"The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act … prohibits the use of appropriated funds to deny an Inspector General timely access to any records, or to prevent or impede that Inspector General’s access to such records," Vint wrote.

"The OPM OIG repeatedly informed the agency that we would accept a rolling production, yet 35 days later the agency has failed to provide the OPM OIG with any documents."

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a senior member of the House Oversight Committee and chairman of the Government Operations Subcommittee, blasted OPM for failing to comply with the IG’s records request in a timely fashion.

"The continued stonewalling from Trump administration is an affront to our Constitution," he said. "Cooperating with oversight is not optional."

Connolly had sought an IG probe in May of the Trump administration's use of direct hiring authorities, which Connolly said the White House was using to circumvent civil service hiring requirements.

Reader comments

Mon, Jul 27, 2020

"...stonewalling from Trump administration is an affront to our Constitution,"? This has to be joke. Since when does a democrat congressman care about the constitution? Can you say 'righteous indignation' much? Would this type of admonishment have ever even been considered with the previous administration or maybe there has never been a comparable delay in any previous administrations? It does appear from this article that the documents were delivered, albeit late, even though extensions (aka stonewalling) were requested and apparently granted. Imagine, a federal process late for a deadline, especially in the midst of what the world is currently enduring? Obviously, these were intentional stall tactics, no way around it. I suppose when it involves an initiative leveled at discrediting this president with more allegations of impropriety, you probably can't get your hands on potentially incriminating evidence like this fast enough. Maybe the next president in 2024 won't have to worry about this kind of treatment. That is, of course, unless...

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