United States Office of Personnel Management
|Formed||January 1, 1979|
|Jurisdiction||Federal government of the United States|
|Headquarters||1900 E Street NW, Washington, D.C.|
The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is an independent agency of the United States government that manages the civil service of the federal government.
The United States Civil Service Commission was created by the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883. The commission was abolished and replaced by OPM on January 1, 1979, following the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978 (43 FR 36037, 92 Stat. 3783).
According to their website, the mission of the OPM is "recruiting, retaining and honoring a world-class force to serve the American people." The OPM is partially responsible for maintaining the appearance of independence and neutrality in the Administrative Law System. While technically employees of the agencies they work for, Administrative Law Judges (or ALJs) are hired exclusively by the OPM, effectively removing any discretional employment procedures from the other agencies. The OPM uses a rigorous selection process which ranks the top three candidates for each ALJ vacancy, and then makes a selection from those candidates, generally giving preference to veterans.
The OPM is also responsible for a large part of the management of security clearances (Federal Investigative Services a/k/a FIS conducts these investigations) for the United States Government. With the exception of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which maintains its own system, separate programs for each executive department have gradually been merged into a single, Government-wide clearance system. The OPM is responsible for investigating individuals to give them Secret and Top Secret clearances. SCI compartments, however, are still managed by the particular agency that uses that compartment.
The OPM revolving fund is described as the OPM’s “fee for service” business that moves federal budget money from various federal agencies to the OPM for human resources (HR) services. During the decade from 2002-2012, the dollar amount of the fund has tripled. The fund is worth $2 billion, equivalent to almost all (90 percent) of the OPM budget.
In July 2013, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) introduced the Office of Personnel Management Inspector General Act. The bill would increase oversight of the fund. Farenthold introduced the bill as a response to accusations of fraud and concerns about security clearance background investigations. The bill would fund the expenses for investigations, oversight activities and audits from the revolving fund. In February 2014, President Obama signed the bill into law.
The fund’s history goes back to the early 1980s, where it was used for two main activities: training and background investigations for government personnel.
2015 Data Breach
In June 2015, the Office of Personnel Management announced that it had discovered in April 2015 that it had been hacked more than a year earlier in a data breach, resulting in the theft of approximately 4 million personnel records handled by the office. By July 9, 2015 the estimate of stolen records had increased to 21.5 million, including those of current government personnel and people who had undergone background checks.
New updates regarding the June Breach has come to light on September 24th 2015. The agency now says 5.6 million people's fingerprints were stolen as part of the hacks, more than five times the 1.1 million originally estimated when the cyberattacks were disclosed over the summer. The total number of those believed to be caught up in the breaches, which included the theft of the Social Security numbers and addresses of more than 21 million former and current government employees, remains the same. 
Source: OPM's Agency Leadership Through Time
- Alan K. Campbell (January 2, 1979 – January 20, 1981)
- Campbell was the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission at its dissolution
- Donald J. Devine (March 23, 1981 – March 25, 1985)
- Loretta Cornelius (acting; 1985)
- Constance Horner (August 22, 1985 - May 10, 1989)
- Constance Berry Newman (June 8, 1989 – June 30, 1992)
- James B. King (April 7, 1993 – September 1, 1997)
- Janice R. Lachance (November 12, 1997 – January 20, 2001)
- Kay Coles James (July 11, 2001 – January 31, 2005)
- Linda M. Springer (June 28, 2005 – August 13, 2008)
- Michael Hager (acting; 2008–2009)
- Kathie Ann Whipple (acting; 2009)
- John Berry (April 13, 2009 – April 13, 2013)
- Elaine Kaplan (acting; April 15, 2013 – October 31, 2013)
- Katherine Archuleta (November 4, 2013 – July 10, 2015)
- Beth Cobert (acting; July 10, 2015 to date)
- Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations
- Civil service
- United States Merit Systems Protection Board
- Federal Labor Relations Authority
- Hatch Act
- Presidential Management Fellows Program
- Combined Federal Campaign
- Human Resources University
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- Reilly, Sean. "OPM inspector general getting more money for revolving fund oversight”. Federal Times. 2014-02-13 (Retrieved 2014-02-17)
- "OPM IG Act (H.R. 2860)”. GovTrack.us. (2014) (Retrieved 2014-02-17)
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- U.S. Government Accountability Office. "OPM's Revolving Fund Policy Should Be Clarified and Management Controls Strengthened”. GGD-84-23: Published: Oct 13, 1983. Publicly Released: Oct 13, 1983 (Retrieved 2014-02-17)
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