Senate confirms new OMB controller, head of OPM

The Senate has confirmed a new controller for the Office of Management and Budget, while the former controller was approved as head of the Office of Personnel Management.

Linda Combs received approval Friday from lawmakers to become the new head of the OMB's Office of Federal Financial Management, while Linda Springer, who held the controller's job for about 18 months, will direct the government's personnel agency for a term of four years.

Combs was chief financial officer and assistant secretary of Transportation for budget and programs at the Transportation Department before moving to OFFM. She previously was chief financial officer at the Environmental Protection Agency, and during President George H.W. Bush's administration was assistant secretary for management and CFO at the Treasury Department.

In her new position, Combs will have a full agenda, including the continued push for all agencies to get their year-end audits completed in 45 days, reducing improper payments across government, and helping shepherd the financial management and grants management Lines of Business Consolidations efforts.

Another challenge for Combs will be to improve agency financial performance. On the latest President's Management Agenda scorecard, 18 of 26 agencies received a red grade on financial performance.

Springer, who had planned to leave government, replaces Kay Coles James, who left federal service Jan. 31. Before coming to OMB, Springer spent 25 years in the financial services industry with companies such as Provident Mutual, Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co., and Coopers and Lybrand.

At OPM, Springer's challenges vary from the administration's goal of rolling out a new civilian personnel system, to competing federal jobs considered commercial with the private sector, to the Human Resources and E-Payroll Lines of Business Consolidation and E-Government initiatives.

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