Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Connected Government
- Consolidating Mission-critical Systems
- Constituent Servicing
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Eliminating the Pitfalls: Steps to Virtualization in Government
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- Government Cloud Brokerage: Who, What, When, Where, Why?
- Government Mobility
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mobile Device Management
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- Understanding the Intersection of Customer Service and Security in the Cloud
Shows & Panels
Navel gazing, government style
Tuesday - 8/28/2012, 2:00am EDT
Hundreds of outside groups, commissions, blue-ribbon panels, etc., have looked at the way the government works. How it hires, pays, promotes and fires people. But these groups rarely ask rank-and-file feds what works and what doesn't. We got lucky and found one willing to spill the beans and give his observations. All he asked was "no byline" please. So here goes:
A summary of where it's at on the federal proletariat scene:
Nowadays, they're cutting feds in gigantic numbers in agencies like the U.S. Postal Service and the Social Security Administration and other agencies. Much of the institutional memory is vanishing with the cuts. New and younger people are being hired with reduced benefits and not much mentoring.
The glory days of a great professional federal bureaucracy are going away to pay for things like wars in the Middle East. The work was once seen as noble, that is, for the good of the country. Since Reagan's time, federal workers have been portrayed with diminishing respect in the public's eye. As lazy and overpaid. Union representation has faded even under Democratic administrations.
Certain groups are still being favored at the expense of other groups and Social Security benefits are an IOU in a box somewhere in West Virginia we are told.
There is no real protection for whistleblowers.
The performance-evaluation system favors managers who are presumed to be truthful and qualified to judge others. In reality, they have no special qualifications or training to make such judgements of others, being mere technocrats themselves.
Workloads increase proportionally as many jobs are not backfilled.
A certain level of fear is imparted if such things bother you and take issue.
Despite what you read to the contrary, work itself never decreases. The workplace is really only about the work being done and hardly ever at all about workers.
Giant backlogs of claims for benefits and retirement benefits are now the norm. Thousands of claims that will take years to finalize now exist for years. Federal retirees themselves must now wait months for their benefits as the backlog is 40,000-plus.
When and if there were to be a really good redesign of the federal personnel system, it should be people-centered as much as work-centered, but there is no sign that such an idea is even on the radar screen. Alexander Hamilton argued that "the power of the people" must be placed over legislative will. I wouldn't bet a lot on that happening for we the 99 percent.
Each new administration enters and rains down some new theory; workers wait for each of them to pass away in a few years while the workers do their work…
A few hundred dollars raise after three years that amounts to enough to buy a little less than half a large pizza with one topping every two weeks. That really hits the spot while you accrue loans to help you pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition.
And let's not forget that while you get $5.50 per pay after a three-year wait, your health care costs rise maybe $40 per pay, a large net loss.
Nietzsche said that all such ideas rattle around in your head all the time and forever. He called it his theory of eternal recurrence. What a life. Geez!
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
By Jack Moore
They say sunlight is the best disinfectant — and it's a lesson the Western boxelder bug has also learned. The winged bug "sunbathes" to protect fungal spores on its body from germs, Live Science reports.
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Study: Sequestration cuts would slam
Most of the Pentagon's contract spending wouldn't take an immediate hit from sequestration. Conversely, civilian employees would likely be laid-off or furloughed in the few days or weeks after the automatic budget cuts kick in, according to a Washington think tank's analysis of the laws that govern the automatic cuts.
ICE chief of staff accused of sexual
At least three employees at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have made serious complaints alleging inappropriate sexual behavior by a senior Obama administration political appointee and longtime aide to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, according to court records and a letter describing the claims submitted to a congressional oversight committee.
New roadmap envisions
electronic record-keeping by 2020
A new White House directive provides a roadmap for agencies to phase out the use of paper record-keeping by the end of the decade.
Postal regulators OK shorter post office
Postal regulators agreed with a Postal Service plan to cut the window hours at 13,000 post offices. Operating hours will be cut to six, four or even two hours per weekday at these locations. In 73 locations, hours will actually increase.