OMB says it cannot locate any public comments on its reorg

By May 20, 2018Benefits

Although the Office of Management and Budget asked for public input on its restructuring efforts, it now says it cannot find any such comments and one organization filed a lawsuit in response.

After President Trump signed an executive order in March of last year for the OMB to reorganize the agency by eliminating unnecessary programs, Director Mick Mulvaney posted a video soliciting ideas and input from the public—also a part of the order.

But, according to the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility—a nonprofit group of government workers that aim to further environmental laws and values—after the public comment period ended, the OMB website boasted that it had received more than 100,000 comments, but the statement has since been deleted and the agency now claims in a lawsuit, filed by PEER, that it has no record of receiving any comments.

“How could they not locate 100,000 comments?” PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, said in a statement, adding, “The White House call for public involvement in reforming government seems to have been merely a cynical stunt.”

Ruch added, “We will likely never know if the public registered strong preferences supporting or exactly opposite what the Trump team has done.

View the PEER statement, as well as OMB’s response to the lawsuit here.

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