SEA Statement on Administration’s FY2020 Budget Proposal

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Bill Valdez, President of the Senior Executives Association (SEA) – the professional association responsible for representing, convening, and cultivating members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and senior career leaders across the federal government – released the following statement in response to the release of President Donald Trump’s FY2020 budget proposal.

“Much of the language included in the president’s budget proposal rightly identifies many of the impediments our federal government confronts on a daily basis, while also correctly recognizing that the solutions will require a long-term commitment, rather than mere Band-Aids,” said Valdez.

“The effectiveness of our government will continue to be limited so long as we can neither recruit top talent, nor adequately train and retain the talent we have already hired. Our government must better position itself to modernize and compete in the global labor market. Even as the budget proposal suggests that our national and homeland security requires additional staffing in the military and along our borders, the budget reiterates penny-wise and pound-foolish proposals to enact federal pay freezes and benefit and retirement cuts, thus implicitly assuring applicants interested in those posts that working for the federal government would mean enduring instability and ceaseless attacks surrounding even their most basic compensation.”

“On the heels of the longest government shutdown in history, which deeply damaged the government’s brand as an employer, this budget sends all the wrong signals to Americans considering jobs serving their country in federal public service. Furthermore, reneging on promises made to federal annuitants -- who planned their careers and retirements based on a set of commitments from their employer -- should be a nonstarter,” Valdez continued. “Put simply, we will not attract nor retain an innovative and talented 21st century federal public service workforce by undertaking a race to the bottom on federal pay and benefits.”

Valdez concluded, “I am concerned about the level of serious consideration to change management planning related to the administration’s agency reorganization proposals. For example, characterizing the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) functions as simply transferrable to the General Services Administration (GSA) is easier said than done and ignores OPM’s central statutory role in the federal merit system. Simply moving boxes on an org chart and superior technology are no saviors for inadequate planning and a people-focused change strategy. I urge the administration to bring stakeholders to the table to better understand the reorganization plans for OPM, and to better share information with the public so it can have confidence that taxpayer resources are being used wisely.”

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The Senior Executives Association (SEA) is a professional association representing Senior Executive Service members and other career Federal leaders. Founded in 1980, SEA’s goals are to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity of the Federal government; to advance the professionalism and advocate the interests of career Federal executives; and to enhance public recognition of their contributions. For more information, visit www.seniorexecs.org.

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