The Presidential Transition

In March, President Obama signed the Edward “Ted” Kaufman and Michael Leavitt Presidential Transitions Improvements Act, which aims to help future presidential candidates navigate the transition process while clarifying the nonpartisan support role of the General Services Administration. As a result, the handover between the Obama White House and the incoming Trump administration is on tract to unfold with more seriousness and less frenzy than past changeovers. 

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Pedestrians walk across the street at the intersection of 13th and E streets NW, in downtown Washington.

The Year of the Civil Servant

December 28, 2017 Never before have the roles of government workers taken on such significance. But there could be consequences to using their power to undermine the administration.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., demanded information on GSA's handling of the document request.

Senator Expresses Concern About GSA Handing Over Transition Emails to Mueller Probe

December 20, 2017 Johnson demands documents, citing agency’s “failure” to honor privacy while helping Mueller probe.

GSA is under fire for handing over documents to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Legal Specialists Defend GSA's Handover of Transition Emails to Mueller Probe

December 18, 2017 Letter from Trump counsel claiming that the transition emails were private and privileged largely seen as a political move.

USDA Rebuts Author’s Critique of Trump Transition

November 6, 2017 Vanity Fair’s Michael Lewis wrote a scathing narrative about the “stunningly unqualified” political leadership at the department.

GAO headquarters in Washington.

Trump Officials Rebuff GAO Auditors

November 1, 2017 Resistance to Congress’ nonpartisan auditing arm is unusual, but not unprecedented.

Trump and Obama meet at the White House on Nov. 10, 2016.

Trump Transition Declined Some Ethics Advice, Rejected Some GAO Interviews

October 11, 2017 Watchdog report to Democratic lawmakers finds no misspent funds.

Fast-Approaching Vacancy Act Deadline Puts Some Pressure on Trump to Speed Up Appointments

September 29, 2017 Rules also offer flexibility that may benefit the White House, however.

Trump Transition Aides Told to Save Russia Records

June 16, 2017 The team’s lawyer reportedly instructed them to preserve documents relevant to the federal inquiries into election interference.

President Donald Trump is joined by the Congressional leadership and his family as he formally signs his cabinet nominations into law Jan. 20.

Trump’s Pace at Filling Positions Called the Worst in Decades

April 11, 2017 Academics count numbers and key positions from White House personnel shop.

Persistent Voice Urges Trump to Fire Feds 'Loyal to Obama'

March 7, 2017 Despite agency dependence on acting leaders, conservative would purge "leftists."

Who’s Minding the Store at the Agencies?

March 6, 2017 Websites list dozens of acting officials at many agencies, with new leaders just arriving.

Senior White House officials are sworn in on Jan. 22.

Trump Transition Team Spurned Ethics, Management Training

March 2, 2017 GSA had put out a bid for courses aimed at orienting White House staff and nominees in the ways of government.

President Trump addresses employees of the Homeland Security Department on Jan. 25.

Why Trump Has Made So Few Appointments

February 28, 2017 He’s always relied on a close circle of advisers.

Who Is Most Likely to Leave Government During the First Year of a New Administration?

February 15, 2017 One in 10 senior executives depart during that time period, research finds.

OMB Director-designate Mick Mulvaney testifies on Capitol Hill last week.

Trump OMB Nominee Clears Two Senate Panels Along Party Lines

February 2, 2017 Republicans portray Rep. Mulvaney as passionate, but Dems reject his past "brinksmanship."

Obama’s White House Webmaster Says We Should Cut Trump’s Team Some Slack

January 27, 2017 There’s plenty of reason to believe changes and glitches are just par for the course.

State Department Loses Top Management Team in Trump’s First Week

January 26, 2017 In addition to the key leadership vacancies, the federal hiring freeze also could hobble operations.

Drastically Changing Agency Missions Is Harder Than Trump Might Think

January 25, 2017 Past efforts to eliminate or upend federal agencies achieved little success.

Comparing Trump and Obama's Initial White House Websites

January 25, 2017 Uploading the whitehouse.gov website really does not take that long.

Vice President Mike Pence, left, and National Trade Council adviser Peter Navarro, right, wait for President Donald Trump to sign executive orders on Monday.

No, the Trump Transition Is Not Far Behind That of Previous Presidents

January 24, 2017 Trump has moved 23 percent faster than Obama and Bush in filling cabinet, but lower-tier positions are lagging, analysis shows.

OGE Director Walter Shaub arrives for a meeting with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders.

Ethics Office Chief Reportedly Never Received Trump Business Documents

January 24, 2017 Rep. Cummings says he is “more concerned than ever” after meeting with ethics director.

President Donald Trump talks with Defense Secretary James Mattis in the reviewing stand for Trump's inaugural parade.

Trump Gets His First Cabinet Picks

January 20, 2017 The Senate confirmed the first two members of the new president’s administration: James Mattis as defense secretary and John Kelly as homeland security secretary.

Trump's stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington creates a conflict of interest for the new president, government ethics officials have said.

Trump Faces New Legal Complaints on Day One

January 20, 2017 ACLU and CREW seek documents associated with the president’s hotel lease and climate change policies.

Copies of the fiscal 2017 budget. Agencies are still operating under a continuing resolution.

Trump’s First Budget Could Be A Unique Mix of Severe Cuts and Increased Spending

January 20, 2017 New presidents typically unveil a broad budget plan in February, and a more detailed version in spring.

Trump asked Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to stay on.

Here Are the Officials Now Leading Federal Agencies

January 19, 2017 Most are career employees who will serve as temporary heads.

Energy Secretary-designate Rick Perry testifies on Capitol Hill Thursday.

Trump Is Said to Embrace Plan to Kill Whole Agencies and Programs

January 19, 2017 News report on major budget cuts comes as Perry backs off vow to eliminate Energy.

President-elect Donald Trump arrives at Andrews Air Force Base on Thursday.

Trump Promises Federal Agency Thank You Tour

January 19, 2017 President-elect knows public servants make sacrifices that go unrecognized, spokesman says.

Federal Jobs, Hiring, Firing and More

January 18, 2017 A weekly roundup of pay and benefits news.

The government's ethics chief would like House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings (left) and Chairman Jason Chaffetz to hold a meeting open to the public.

Ethics Office Chief Asks House Panel to Allow Him to Testify Publicly

January 18, 2017 Oversight chairman had asked Shaub to talk privately on handling Trump conflicts.

Interior Secretary-designate Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., testifies on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Trump’s Interior Nominee Pledges to Eliminate Sexual Harassment at Department

January 18, 2017 Zinke also says he will protect federally controlled land from sale or transfer.

A Managers Guide to the New Administration

January 17, 2017 What federal leaders can expect in the coming months.

President-elect Donald Trump speaks with reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower on Friday.

Nearly 60 Percent of Federal Employees Disapprove of Trump’s Transition

January 17, 2017 One in four feds say they will not be able to carry out their agencies' mission under Trump.

OMB Director Shaun Donovan was one of the authors of the memo.

OMB Prepares for Trump with New Infrastructure Permit Guidance

January 17, 2017 Required by highway bill, Donovan sets up accelerated environmental review procedures.

Memo to the President: Getting Public-Private Partnership Right

January 13, 2017 Management really matters for this high-potential but hazardous approach.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., (left)  has defended the head of OGE against attacks from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Government Ethics Chief Caught in Lawmaker Crossfire

January 13, 2017 Partisans on House Oversight panel duel over handling of Trump’s potential conflicts.

“I do not think a hiring freeze is an effective way to manage the federal government workforce for a better performance or a better efficiency," acting OPM Director Beth Cobert said.

Cobert to Trump: Focus on ‘Holistic’ Civil Service Reforms, Not Hiring Freeze

January 12, 2017 OPM chief says Obama personnel reforms will survive future administrations.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary-designate Ben Carson testifies on Capitol Hill Thursday.

Dr. Ben Carson Wants to Pick The Brains of HUD Employees

January 12, 2017 Trump housing secretary nominee and retired neurosurgeon plans to do a lot of listening, if confirmed, he told senators.

From left, NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers, FBI Director James Comey, Director of the National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, and DIA Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart testify at a Senate hearing on Feb. 9, 2016.

Trump Has Considerable Authority to Revamp the Intelligence Community

January 12, 2017 But the the 2004 law that created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence creates some hurdles as well.

Memo to the President: Performance Accountability, Evidence and Improvement

January 11, 2017 Bipartisan reflections and recommendations for the next administration.

The outside of Trump International Hotel in Washington.

GSA Says It Needs More Information on Trump's Leased Hotel

January 11, 2017 President-elect’s announcement of new trust doesn’t address Washington’s Old Post Office.