Senior executives at the Interior Department say recent reassignments have demoralized the SES corps and agency leadership has done little to involve them in planning for a coming reorganization.
A group of lawyers is encouraging the Office of Special Counsel to take special notice of the senior executive reassignments at the Interior Department, out of fear they could have dangerous implications for the future of the civil service.
An Interior senior executive is suing his former employer for documents related to the reassignments of 30-to-50 SES members.
In a memo, Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt outlined his vision for the SES and his preference for the future to reassign and rotate more career leaders.
According to new documents from the Interior Department, 33 senior executives received reassignment notifications back in June. Of the 33, 10 received requests for a geographic reassignment.
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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he intends to divide the country 13 broad regions where a senior executive would manage and lead each area with joint input and collaboration from each of the department’s bureaus and subcomponents.
The president’s fiscal 2019 budget proposal includes $18 million for the Interior Department to begin reorganization and relocation of its employees and sub-agencies to new locations in the western U.S.
The Interior Department didn’t document a plan, cost estimate or reasoning to offer reassignments to 35 members of the Senior Executive Service, the agency’s inspector general said.