Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management’s Trump-era headquarters shift hurt diversity, performance

The Trump administration’s choice to go Bureau of Land Administration headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Grand Junction, Colo., led to a sharp reduction in the quantity of Black personnel and a surge in vacancies, in accordance to a Govt Accountability Workplace (GAO) report released Thursday.

The move, which President BidenJoe BidenFlorida Republicans vote to limit vaccine mandates Bill honoring 13 services members killed in Afghanistan heads to Biden’s desk Right away Protection & National Stability — Introduced by Boeing — Pentagon vows additional airstrike transparency Extra introduced in September he would reverse, led to a vacancy raise of about 169 %, and the departure of final decision-makers at the company delayed new steering or policy. The Bureau also lacked a workforce strategy to address the problems developed by the go, which the GAO encouraged it build.

Vacancies observed a particularly sharp spike in July 2019, when the bureau announced it would relocate, the watchdog observed. Between the announcement and the pursuing March, they a lot more than doubled at headquarters, from 121 to 326. As of May 2021, the bureau had decreased people to 142, which still stood at 17 percent bigger than the time of the relocation announcement.

The relocation also led to an raise in specifics, or short term reassignments to fill vacancies, in accordance to the report, but senior officers at the bureau explained to GAO they had been not totally briefed on its use of aspects.

Some Bureau of Land Management team blamed enhanced use of aspects for detrimental impacts on their office’s overall performance, according to the report, citing results these types of as reduced capacity at condition workplaces.

“Without finish and trustworthy facts on vacancies and details throughout the agency, BLM officials cannot make informed decisions about filling vacancies and initiating aspects to aid the agency reach its mission and plans,” the report states.

The transfer also led to a marked decrease in Black workforce amid the bureau’s already overwhelmingly-white workforce, in accordance to the report. Black headquarters personnel declined by half amongst the 2019 announcement and January 2021, when it was complete. The report uncovered a related decrease in workers of Asian descent during the same interval.

The troubles shown in the report echo a warning issued by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Az.), chair of the Property Pure Methods Committee. In a letter to then-Inside Secretary David Bernhardt, Grijalva warned the move would induce an exodus of Black employees from the agency, which already had major range troubles. This, he wrote, could create serious authorized liabilities for the bureau and the Inside Department, though no lawsuits have been filed on the issue as of Thursday.

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