Presidential campaigns get update on White House’s transition planning efforts

With roughly 69 days until the national election, the transition leaders of the Republican and Democrat presidential campaigns received an update on the government’s plans and progress to ensure a smooth changeover.

Obama administration officials met with members of the Clinton-Kaine and Trump-Pence transition teams Aug. 25 to discuss a host of topics, including an overview of agency planning efforts, the General Services Administration-led transition team support, emergency preparedness, personnel onboarding processes and upcoming milestones, said Jennifer Friedman, a White House spokesperson.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough convened the White House Transition Coordinating Council (WHTCC) to help facilitate communication between the current administration and the candidates.

Friedman said Democrat nominees Secretary Hilary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) sent:

  • Former Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar, who is the chairman of the transition team.
  • Ann O’Leary, co-executive director of the transition team.
  • Ed Meier, co-executive director of the transition team.

Friedman said Republican nominees Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence sent:

  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is the transition team chairman.
  • Rich Bagger, the executive director of the team.
  • Bill Hagerty, director for presidential appointments.

Officials from the Obama administration  including Shaun Donovan, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Denise Turner Roth, GSA’s administrator and Tim Horne, federal transition coordinator for GSA, provided the updates to the transition team leaders.

The White House kicked off the transition planning activities in May when President Barack Obama signed an executive order creating two councils to lead the effort.

The first meetings of the White House Transition Coordinating Council and the Agency Transition Directors Council took place in early June.

Since the first agency council meeting, agencies have been working on a range of transition-related activities, including the development of agency briefing materials and information relating to the Presidential transition, succession planning and providing logistical support to eligible Presidential candidates and the President-elect.

OMB also asked agencies to provide technical information by September to help with the fiscal 2018 budget request.

Friedman said the administration is committed to “minimize disruption and maintain continuity” during the transition to a new president.

Find all of Federal News Radio’s Tracking the Transition 2016 coverage here.

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