Office of Personnel Management Inspector General Patrick McFarland, the watchdog who played a significant role in highlighting the agency’s shortcoming during its recent IT acquisition and security woes, is set to resign.
McFarland, the longest presidential-appointed and Senate-confirmed IG serving in the federal government, penned a letter to President Barack Obama Monday announcing his decision to step down, effective Feb. 19.
His deputy IG, Norbert Vint, will take over in McFarland’s absence, he wrote in his letter.
“Mr. Vint has been invaluable at each and every critical decision point that the office has faced. He is a superlative executive,” McFarland wrote, asking that President Barack Obama consider Vint for official nomination as the next OPM IG.
McFarland also expressed his faith in acting OPM Director Beth Cobert in the resignation missive. She “appears to have wrapped her arms around the multitude of challenges currently facing OPM,” he said.
Cobert, who stepped into the acting director role when former Director Katherine Archuleta was pressured into resigning by members of Congress following the massive breaches of OPM networks announced last summer, will appear for her confirmation hearing Thursday in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Finally, McFarland took pride in his ability during his 25-year tenure to strike a balance between a cooperative professional relationship with OPM and remaining independent — thus able to find and hold the agency accountable for its wrongdoings.
“As I reflect upon my time at OPM, I am pleased that our organization has indeed achieved that balance, thereby enabling us to provide the level of scrutiny and oversight that the American taxpayers expect and deserve,” he wrote.