Reports, Obama administration appointees say Trump will transfer senior USDA employees
The Trump administration will transfer some Senior Executive Service employees, news reports and Obama administration political appointees over the weekend.
The media reports were from Federal News Radio and Greenwire.
One Obama administration political appointee told The Hagstrom Report 20 SES employees will be transferred, and another appointee said the transfers seem to be related to the Trump administration’s plans to gain control over information technology and data throughout the government.
“My thinking is that Republicans want control of IT in all phases,” one Obama appointee said. “IT is where they can manipulate all the data.”
One of the employees to be moved is Chief Information Officer Jonathan Alboum, Federal News Radio reported.
Federal News Radio said Alboum will be a deputy senior procurement executive.
During his tenure as CIO, Alboum has pushed to consolidate 17 disparate networks and modernize U.S. Department of Agriculture technology infrastructure through the recently awarded Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract, according to Federal News Radio.
He also set up a dedicated team to implement the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA, and address acquisition, investment oversight and workforce plans, Federal News Radio added.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s office declined to say how many employees are targeted for transfer or where they would move, Greenwire reported.
A department spokesman said the potential transfers are still pending and are in keeping with the goals of the Senior Executive Service system, established in 1978 to create a staff of leaders whose skills are transferrable across government agencies, Greenwire added. The secretary’s office also said the pending moves fit with Perdue’s goals as he reorganizes the department.
USDA has long had IT problems, particularly between the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency, both of which collect information about farms.