Employment: Archives 2014 & Earlier

Bill Would Remove Senate Confirmation for Top Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare Jobs

Legislation introduced this month by a bipartisan group of Senators would eliminate Senate confirmation for about 200 executive nominations, including two of the top federal jobs in juvenile justice and child welfare.

The bill is a more permanent extension of a gentlemen’s agreement reached at the beginning of the 112th Congress to move some nominees through without Senate confirmation. It is all an effort to alleviate the backlog of unfilled jobs that has plagued the past  two presidents, partly because of the bottleneck of confirmation hearings.

“The American public is harmed when we are not able to get qualified people confirmed to positions in a timely manner,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who introduced the legislation with Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). The bill has the support of both party leaders in the Senate,  Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).   

The senate confirmation process adds about 150 to 200 days to the overall hiring process, said Paul Light, a professor at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service who has tracked and studied the confirmation process for more than a decade. 

“It’s slower than it’s ever been,” Light said. But he’s “not wild” about the bill because “many of these positions are extremely important and probably should not be removed from senate confirmation,” he said.

Shay Bilchik, former OJJDP and current Director for the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University agrees.

“As a candidate for the job, you don’t understand what it means to the field and the constituencies to have that direct oversight and committee in the U.S. Congress, so the field can weigh in in a very powerful way regarding who gets that position,” he said. “Once it becomes simply a political appointment you lose that visibility and that transparency.”

A better move, Light said, would be to eliminate certain classes of appointment altogether instead of subjectively creating a list of exemptions.

Chief among the youth-related slots that are included in the legislation: administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and commissioner of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families (ACYF).

The ACYF job is held by Bryan Samuels. Samuels led Chicago’s child welfare system before becoming a top aide to Education Secretary Arne Duncan when he was CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

The OJJDP administrator has not been filled, more than 800 days after the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Among the other youth-related posts that would be affected by the bill:

Department of Education:

Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs, Department of Education

Commissioner – Rehabilitation Services Administration

Commissioner – Education Statistics

Members (15), National Board of Education Sciences

Department of Health and Human Services:

Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans

Corporation for National and Community Service

Managing Directors (two positions)

Department of Justice

Director, Bureau of Justice Statistics
Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance
Director, National Institute of Justice
Deputy Director, National Drug Control Policy
Deputy Director, Demand Reduction, National Drug Control Policy
Director, Office for Victims of Crime

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Search

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top