Political Appointees

Nation’s largest federal employee union endorses O'Malley to lead Social Security

News of the American Federation of Government Employees’ support for former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Biden’s pick to lead the embattled agency, comes amid a détente between the union and management, whose relationship has been acrimonious in recent years.

Biden taps former Maryland governor for Social Security commissioner

Martin O’Malley served two terms as governor before a failed presidential campaign in 2016.

The Biden administration is without a confirmed ethics czar

This is the first time in five years that the federal government's ethics agency has been without a confirmed director. Trump holdover Emory Rounds stepped down when his term expired earlier this month.

Democrats try again to reform the vacancies act

Democrats are trying once again to reform the parameters on acting federal officials.

Biden looks to swap leadership at civil service watchdog agencies

White House nominates a Trump appointee for a new role overseeing enforcement of civil service laws.

It’s Been 6-Plus Years Without a Permanent Head of Governmentwide Financial Management

The last presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed controller at the Office of Management and Budget left in January 2017.

Trump’s Global Media CEO Abused Authority and Wasted Funds, Review Finds

New agency leadership has been working to restore the agency’s operations and make corrective reforms.

OPM Denied 20% of Agency Requests to Let Politicals Convert Into Career Roles

In another 23% of cases, agencies failed to seek permission before letting political appointees "burrow in."

The HHS Secretary Violated the Hatch Act, Office of Special Counsel Determines

“With a presidential election approaching next year, this report offers an opportunity to deter violations by reminding federal employees at all levels of the Hatch Act restrictions,” OSC says.

Appeals Panel for Feds No Longer Whole As Former Board Member Runs for Office

The Merit Systems Protection Board, now once again dealing with a vacancy as former member runs for state House in West Virginia, vows to continue working on its backlog.

The IRS Has a New Commissioner After Senate Approves Biden's Pick in a Bipartisan Vote

"Government geek" Danny Werfel will lead the agency for a second time at a pivotal moment in IRS history.

Senate Democrats Back FAA Nominee, Despite GOP Objections at Confirmation Hearing

Committee’s confirmation hearing for Phil Washington, CEO of Denver International Airport, came more than seven months after Biden first nominated him

The 'People Who Make Government Go' Are Affected by the Vacancies Act

Employment attorney Dan Meyer joins the podcast to discuss acting leadership at agencies and how it affects policy.

A Key Agency in the Ohio Train Derailment Response Hasn’t Had a Confirmed Leader Since Biden Took Office

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is under capable interim leadership, but the lack of a nominee sends a signal about the administration’s priorities, former officials and other observers say.

Federal Scientists Are Feeling More Empowered Under Biden, Though Censorship Remains a Concern

Employees "painted harrowing pictures" of their time under Trump, but in a new survey said things are mostly getting better.

Carp, Cars and COVID: Czars Can Cover Any Issue

Tom Shoop joins the podcast to discuss how a Russian loanword came to be applied to American government officials.

Biden’s IRS Pick Says He’s the ‘Government Geek’ for the Job

Nominee pledges transparency with unprecedented spending and hiring surge as he takes on the “most challenging and least popular job in town.”