The Obama Transition’s agency review teams began their visits two weeks ago and are reporting back to the main office this week on what they are finding. A Washington Post article by Shailagh Murray and Carol Leonnig, “Obama Teams Are Scrutinizing Agencies,” provides some insights into what is going on:
“Obama’s teams — 135 people divided into 10 groups, along with a list of other advisers — started earlier than most, gearing up months before Election Day with preliminary planning, and will work until mid-December preparing reports to guide the White House, Cabinet members and other senior officials. . . .
“. . . . The Obama teams say they have benefited from a commitment by the Bush White House to cooperate as fully as possible to ease the shift.
“. . . . A typical approach has been playing out at the Environmental Protection Agency, where the Obama team is led by Lisa Jackson, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Robert Sussman, a former Clinton official and now a lawyer and fellow at the Center for American Progress. Both are considered front-runners for senior administration jobs (Jackson as EPA administrator, Sussman as a top EPA deputy). . . . Jackson, Sussman and their team members hope to interview 100 staffers before filing their report, but they will do so with agreed-upon “rules of engagement,” as the EPA’s lawyers call them. The lawyers have urged senior managers to answer questions but to avoid idle chatter.
“. . . .But those closely watching the review process warn that it is too early to judge its value. “I feel like those of us in the good government community need to settle in for a wait,” Alyssa Rosenberg, a blogger for the publication Government Executive, told readers last week.”