Former Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue doesn't think much of the job that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) does in screening applicants for top level jobs in the Senior Executive Service (SES). Here are some quotes from a recent interview with Astrue done by Federal News Radio:
- It makes it much more difficult to get outstanding talent from the outside, and I lost a couple of really terrific people that way. And it also means that they [OPM] undervalue skill sets that are important. And it's particularly true for information technology.
- You'd try and talk to them [OPM] and they'd say, "Well, this person hasn't managed 50 people," or something like that. And we'd say it's an IT person, it's a lawyer coming out of one of the very best law firms in Washington. They typically don't get those types of experiences, that's not the way their worlds are. But they're outstanding because they have this accomplishment, this accomplishment and this accomplishment, and these are needs that the agency has. And they basically said, "We don't care."
- It's a very large agency, so it meant a lot of people were getting sort of a thank-you SES appointment right before retirement. And that's a nice sentiment, but it's not really what the SES is about. It was, I think, hurting continuity at the agency.