Trump slashing staff, budget at Office of Financial Research: report

Trump slashing staff, budget at Office of Financial Research: report
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The Trump administration is reportedly expected to slash the staff and budget at the U.S. Office of Financial Research (OFR), which was created by President Obama after the financial crisis.

Employees at the OFR learned of the cuts during a meeting late last month with senior officials at the Treasury Department, The Wall Street Journal reported.

It's not clear exactly how much the office will be cut down, though President Trump in May talked about cutting the office's budget by about a quarter. He also proposed slashing the number of employees the office has by more than a third.

The office's director, Richard Berner, is scheduled to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday. He is likely to get questions about the upheaval at the office.

Berner, whose term would have been up in 2019, announced his decision last month to leave the office by the end of the year.

The OFR receives independent funding and is under the Treasury Department. 

The office spends about $100 million a year, according to The Wall Street Journal. It is also facing an inspector general's probe regarding issues of personnel and management.

In the agency's annual report Tuesday, Berner said it is now the "appropriate time to take stock of the OFR as an organization."

Berner said in the report that leaders “must effectively balance achieving an extraordinarily broad mission with efficiency and agility,” especially now that the agency has grown from “one that started with a handful of people when I arrived in 2011.”

“I am convinced we can do that while maintaining the objectivity, integrity, and quality that are hallmarks of our work.”

Since he took office, Trump has sought to dismantle many policies implemented under Obama.