In his Contract with the American Voter, President-Elect Trump pledged to immediately pursue, among other things, “a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health).” It remains to be seen whether and to what extent this goal may change during the new administration’s transition into power. But the notion that acquisition professionals retiring from government service will not be replaced with new personnel who can help shoulder the administrative burden left by such departures is sobering.
This is particularly true given recent reports that 31 percent of the federal workforce will be eligible to retire by September 2019. Recognizing this demographic reality, many federal agencies have been working for years to recruit and hire the next generation of federal employees (including acquisition professionals). Only time will tell if these efforts have been sufficient to build up the ranks of the acquisition workforce, and whether they will be adversely impacted as an unintended consequence of the new administration’s effort to change the way the federal government does business.
Jackson Kelly will continue to monitor and report on developments.
Eric Whytsell is responsible for the contents of this Short Take.
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