Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, in “With No One to Do Paperwork, Top Hires Stall at U.S. Agencies,” by Chris Opfer, Louis C. LaBrecque, and Jaclyn Diaz. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The Trump administration can’t fill a growing list of vacancies in key political-appointment posts because there’s no one to process the paperwork during the partial government shutdown.

Appointments to agencies that the administration can make without Senate confirmation are largely on hold because the Office of Personnel Management is closed, OPM General Counsel Mark Robbins told Bloomberg Law. Federal law prevents the office, which acts as a government human resources shop, from processing payroll and other paperwork for those positions unless there’s a national security or similar emergency, or another urgent reason.

The political appointment process has been going slowly since well before the OPM and some other agencies ran out of funding earlier this month. But the shutdown threatens to exacerbate the situation by creating a new bottleneck. Pending and new appointees for such key roles as principal deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration will have to wait until the shutdown ends to take their new jobs—assuming they can wait that long. …

Even when the OPM and other agencies reopen for business, the process for bringing in new leadership officials is expected to continue to lag. That’s especially true for those that require Senate confirmation, a process that eats up valuable floor time.

“If the shutdown wasn’t going on, it’s unlikely that the Senate would be acting on the nominations anyway,” Paul DeCamp, a lawyer who ran the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Administration during the George W. Bush administration, told Bloomberg Law. “We are talking about nominations that have been sitting for many months or even well over a year.”


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