As we look towards the Trump transition, there are a few thoughts I had on what this means for federal employees. Lots of other folks have written more detailed analysis based on official transition plans. But I was pondering some additional questions or ideas I had so here I’m going to weigh in with a few additional thoughts:
- Federal government retirement: With 31 percent of federal employees eligible to retire by 2017, it will be interesting to see if there is an increased retirement in next 6-12 months. In general, presidential transitions have higher retirement rates, so this is natural and with the stock market/401k at all-time highs, many feds may be ready to retire.
- Will we see Peter Thiel in D.C.? Peter Thiel is a billionaire who is co-founder of Paypal, a first investor in Facebook, partner at YCombinator, and co-founder of Palantir. He was one of the most prominent Trump supporters in technology and has interests in government from his Palantir experience. He is a creative thinker around technology and would be very interesting to see his approach to government technology. Would Trump pick him as CTO, perhaps?
- Pay for success/shared in savings procurements: There are a number of innovative procurement approaches to solving government problems. For example, it is popular in green buildings to take a pay for savings model where often the winning vendor receives a $0 contract but a percentage of savings. At the state and local level, the company NIC offers free state government websites and gets a percentage of the transaction. In the social programs arena, there is interest in paying for social behaviors (instead of paying for hosting a prisoner in a jail, add incentive pay for decrease in recidivism). I think there is potentially more interest in taking creative approaches to solving government problems where companies take more of the risk (but more of the upside too).
- Bringing back past ideas for new programs: Will we see a resurgence of some of the programs from the Bush or Obama presidencies with new names/approaches? A big infrastructure program could lead to a lot of state/local funding and bring back signs of the Recovery Act. Bush’s Secure Communities program sounds a lot like the focus on deporting illegal aliens who have committed crimes. Will we see a civilian service reform focusing on pay for performance similar to under President Bush?
- Creative use of real estate: One area Trump has a lot of experience is real estate. It will be interesting to see who he appoints to run GSA – perhaps a role for Ivanka Trump? Will he use real estate as a way to revitalize areas? For example, the CDC is headquartered in Atlanta. Could we headquarter the Department of Transportation in Detroit and help revitalize and create jobs? There could be more interest in creative use of federal real estate than in past administration where it is a smaller thought process.
What thoughts do you have about things that could happen under the Trump presidency? What predictions would you make?