KNOXVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG), today joined Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), along with eight other Senate Republican colleagues, in sending a letter to the U.S. Office of Personal Management (OPM) over the decision to scrub a webpage that has long documented “official time,” the amount of taxpayer-funded time spent by the federal workforce on labor union activities. The Senators argue that this webpage is critical for congressional oversight and request information on the reason for its removal.
“We write to express concern over the decision by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to remove a page from its website that has documented, for over a decade, the amount of ‘official time’ taken by employees of federal agencies,” the Senators wrote. “As you know, ‘official time’ is defined as time used by federal employees to engage in labor union related activities instead of their assigned duties during regular working hours. In its latest official time report, issued in 2019, the OPM approximated that federal employees spent at least 2.6 million hours on labor union activities, which equate to roughly $135 million in federal taxpayer dollars.”
“This webpage, which has been made available by various administrations since 2013, is critical for congressional oversight over the federal civil service workforce,” the Senators continued. “Further, it is also concerning that under this Administration, OPM appears to have stopped creating official time reports which have been published since 1998. The American people deserve to know how much ‘official time’ is being conducted and funded by their hard-earned taxpayer dollars.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.