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"A senior employee shuffle is underway at the Department of Agriculture. An undisclosed number of Senior Executive Service employees at USDA have been "offered the opportunity for reassignment to new roles" within the department, Secretary Sonny Perdue's office said today. The secretary's office didn't say how many employees have been targeted for possible transfer, and the office declined to comment on the movements of specific employees "since they are personnel matters." A federal agency source said the transfers are focused on positions within the Agriculture Department's headquarters, but that at least one Forest Service official is among those receiving transfer letters. USDA would not confirm that the Forest Service is among the agencies where letters regarding transfers were sent today. 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. The pending moves fit with Perdue's goals as he reorganizes the department, the secretary's office said. "He also believes that the strength of USDA lies in its people, so in his continuing efforts to make USDA the most effective, most efficient, and best managed department in the U.S. government, he is seeking to match people with the most appropriate positions," a spokesman said in a statement...The latest moves follow the transfers in June of as many as 50 Interior Department career officials to other agencies or, in the case of some officials at the Bureau of Land Management, to new positions within the agency. Those transfers included moving the directors of three BLM state offices — Alaska Director Bud Cribley, Colorado Director Ruth Welch and New Mexico Director Amy Lueders — out of BLM altogether to positions at the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. That trio of state directors oversaw 94 million acres of some of the most resource-rich and environmentally sensitive lands managed by the agency. The Interior Department transfers are part of an ongoing, agencywide reorganization that is designed to shift federal employees from Washington out into the field, where Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says they are needed."

Posted August 11th, 2017
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