The lack of a permanent OPM director has been a concern for lawmakers for some time.
In February, leadership on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Nesterczuk’s former committee, urged Trump to quickly nominate a new director to lead the agency. In their letter, lawmakers said the new director should be “fully accountable [and] one who can provide the expertise, direction and management necessary.”
Kathleen McGettigan has been the acting OPM director since January.
Nesterczuk was not a popular pick among federal employee unions and other groups. On July 26, 16 organizations wrote to Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, expressing concern about Nesterczuk leading OPM.
The organizations say Nesterczuk’s “track record … as a past political appointee of the federal government has been a failure, while his overall stated views toward the federal workforce are diametrically opposite to the mission and task of the OPM. In fact, if Mr. Nesterczuk applied for a rank-and-file civilian position in the federal government today he could very likely be denied due to past possible violations of the Hatch Act when he previously held a political position there.”
The unions and other organizations flagged Nesterczuk’s oversight of the implementation of the Defense Department’s National Security Personnel System as well as his working for the Ukrainian government on reforms as two reasons why he shouldn’t be considered to lead OPM.
“It is our view that Ms. Nesterczuk’s long employment track record both in and out of government as well as for the Ukraine leave us countless concerns. His apparent Hatch Act violation, dealings with the Ukrainian government and seeming attempt to pad the pockets of an outgoing Governor, are questions we hope that your committee will look at very closely,” the letter stated.
The lack of an OPM director also could be hampering the Trump administration’s plans to restructure and reorganize the government. Agencies submitted plans to the Office of Management and Budget for how they would restructure themselves on June 30.
Nesterczuk held multiple senior positions during the Reagan administration at OPM, DoD and the Transportation Department. According to his bio at the Leadership Institute, where he’s listed as a volunteer faculty member, Nesterczuk managed the Senior Executive Service, governmentwide training activities, equal employment opportunity and labor management relations. He also helped develop and implement pay-for-performance management systems.