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A Message From NARFE President Ken Thomas

A Message From NARFE President Ken Thomas

Federal Benefits Human Resources News

On October 21, the administration issued an executive order that will politicize and undermine the integrity of the civil service. By creating a Schedule F category of excepted service positions, federal agencies now have the power to exempt positions "of a confidential, policy-determining, policymaking or policy-advocating character" from both the competitive hiring rules as well as adverse action procedures. The new exception demolishes the rule that civil servants are hired and fired based on merit, not political affiliation, a tradition that has served our country well since the late 1800s.

Civil servants have long been hired based on their competence for the job, not their political connections. It protects them from being removed for choosing adherence to the Constitution and laws over politically motivated actors. Enacting this executive order, in the midst of a presidential election, recklessly endangers senior career experts who have risen to the top of their professions and whose work benefits all Americans.

I recently issued a more detailed statement urging those who support this change to think about the long-term implications. While executive orders are not subject to legislative branch involvement, we are one week away from an election in which the entire House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate, the White House and nearly 5,000 seats in state legislative districts are up for grabs, and I highly encourage NARFE members who feel strongly about this and other issues to exercise your right to vote.

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