Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Political Purge Coming

There has been a story flying around the internet in recent days that the Obama administration intends to purge Republicans from the bureaucracy by using a new federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) rule requiring that all applicants for career civil service jobs who held political jobs "within the past five years" be approved by OPM. The assertion is that “past five years” can only refer to Bush appointees, and that OPM’s memo authorizes the agency to ferret out Republican civil service hires and find some bureaucratic pretext to kick them out.

A close reading of the OPM memo and statements by Elaine Kaplan, OPM General Counsel, provide reassurance that, however the Obama administration plans to handle Republicans working in the bureaucracy, this OPM rule is not intended to affect them.


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