10:08 pm, April 20, 2014

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  • Evidence
    Kenny Ray
    Mr. Shaw makes the broad assertion that "government is full of inefficiency, waste and unaccountable people..." Does he have any remotely concrete evidence to support that?
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  • Why bother
    deployed decoy
    Even if he has date, time stamped pictures and a dozen witnesses, he is still going to be in a losing fight just for using his name in this story. As we know the federal whistle blower protection act is more busted than congress. I have tried to report things I had witnesses that included written international travel orders, or silly things like the US Govt willfully violating foreign Govt direct orders tot he tune of millions of dollars. Nothing was ever so much as investigated. I know because I am still alive, not dismembered and scattered around the planet. Next time I see something that raises to the level of international tax evasion or willful failure to follow a host nation order. I am going to Interpol and host nation law enforcement and requesting witness protection from them. I have a pretty good idea Interpol would be like the Fairfax police in this resolve Do NOT let them tell you this was the first time and you just happened to catch them. Ask tough questions and follow up, and up, and up. Course this learned knowledge comes with spending 16 years of my federal career in overseas foreign duty stations. I am sure a very good reason DOD attempts to force all feds out at 5 years overseas. It keeps the witness list down and dispersed. Divide and concur you know.
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  • International feds
    will4567
    Holding feds to only 5 years helps keep the atmosphere of accountability and cuts down on entitlement thinking. Working overseas can be tough, but it also enables some really nice travel on the government nickle. Over time, that can result in a feeling that Uncle Sam owes these benefits. Working outside the US also can mean less oversight, which can lead to temptation. My view is that feds are not much different than their peers in the rest of the population - despite codes of ethics and creeds. If that wasn't the case the US would have no priests, nuns, or pastors. One of the best reasons to retain the defined benefit retirement system is that fear of losing your retirement can make a lot of people stay on the straight and narrow.
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  • It is $11 now due to inflation
    deployed decoy
    Not sure what you mean by accountability and entitlements. Yes we get our housing (LQA) paid overseas, maybe some tax free COLA if the Euro or Dinar is low enough. Since Kuwait has no status of forces agreement with the USA, Kuwait pays for our assigned cars to get to work, since we cant legally get one ourselves. Course Kuwait also subsidizes any Kuwaiti to buy American cars, so this means Kuwait saved Ford and Chevy as much as our bailout policies did in 2008. Congress forgot about us when they passed the Non Foreign Area Act of 2009 that saved feds in Alaska, Hawaii and hardship places like Puerto Rico. Our salary is 14% below RUS and that reduced salary stays with us forever in retirement. Well unless you are lucky enough to be State Dept, who figures the Hi3 at Washington DC locality rate. I watched one guy kicked out under the 5 year rule in 2004. He was replaced with a guy and a family of four from Korea. The Govt paid both ways for both employees. Exactly at 1 year the guy from Korea bailed out with wife and kids because the wife hated Germany, all expense paid to Rock Island this time. The other guy with his German wife, back on the job in Germany after spending the required year in the USA. Tell me that is business smart. Ya I did Italy, Croatia as summer vacations, skied the maddening crowds of the Alps, and drove over to Strasburg for real French food some weekend nights while I was there. Now I hang out in the Hard Rock Kuwait where I can get the best alcohol free Long Island Icetea on the planet. Rumor has it they are going to start having wet burka contests this summer. Maybe that will just be black wool on sweat cling.
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  • You need to get your act together
    Moderate
    We all know that there is more than those who got caught. That does not mean there are widespread cheating actions like you appear to say. There are probably some actions that should not be. In my place I am sure that is true. But it is not widespread. DD, I am sure you have seen stuff that is illegal. But have you been exposed to widespread cheating or a few thousand cheaters? Remember how many millions of people are in defense.------As far as Shaw is concerned, he is a total idiot. he appears not to work for the government, but wants to make these broad accusations for his political reasons. He is worthless, but has the right, under the 1st amendment to express his opinion..
    worker
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  • Correct....
    NOVAJacket
    You are correct, that there is more than what has been expose. Always has been. Overall, though, the federal workforce is compliant with government statutes that require good stweardship of the taxpayers' money. Shaw is lumping federal workers with all government workers - - where there is more than anecdotal evidence of waste and inefficiency. Shaw looks at his paycheck and sees the taxes he pays, sees the GSA scandal on the news and he gets angry. Your calling him a total idiot and worthless is the attitude that makes taxpayers so angry.
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  • He is a total idiot
    Moderate
    It would be like me finding something wrong where he works and saying that everybody who works there is incompetent and should be fired. That is wrong because (1) I do not know about everyone who does the job and (2) not everyone does the job poorly. Therefore, the same applies to government workers. He is an idiot for making this type of generalization. If he gets angry, then so be it.
    worker
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  • The difference is...
    NOVAJacket
    if he works for private industry, incompetence will drive them out of business. There is no competition in government. There is only a guaranteed revenue stream that taxpayers have no choice but to pay. Thus the outrage when they see egregious behavious like the GSA offsite.
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  • There is no difference
    Moderate
    Actually, if you do your job in an incompetent manner, you can be fired in government. I have seen that. Your justification for some idiot's outrage is a joke. Also, how many times does one do something wrong in private industry and that does not drive them out of business?
    worker
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  • Seriously?
    X-taxman
    Is the federal deficit not enough evidence for you to support the fact that the federal government is rampant with fraud, waste, and abuse??? And, contrary to the rants of Mod-like people that attribute the deficit to one man (Bush), this mess is way beyond the ability of one man to create. There absolutely IS rampant fraud, waste and abuse in the federal government. However it absolutely is NOT attributable to the vast majority of federal employees that have no control over government spending and just come to work every day and do their jobs well. The blame lies squarely in the hand of agency heads that approve outlandish unnecessary spending, politicians that approve outlandish unnecessary spending, etc. The country is in a real mess. How ridiculous it is to ask for 'proof' that we have an inefficient government! Just look around!
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  • X taxman
    Moderate
    I will assume that you worked for IRS. The federal deficit is not enough evidence of fraud...All that shows is that the federal government spends more than it takes in. If you were an auditor, I hope you did not do your audits with that kind of careless disregard for the law.----I do not attribute the deficit to one man. I attribute it to him and his crew called the Republican party. Your rants about what I write are totally less than the professionalism you should have shown if you were an audit or collection person.------The blame for the deficit lies in the hands of the Republicans who applied their economic pro wealthy policies to give us the Bush depression. Bush was just the head of the group.
    worker
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  • x taxman
    worker
    Moderate...I think not...sounds like a typical liberal remark to me!
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  • We will disagree
    Moderate
    I think so. You are very much to the right of center. I expect you to let Bush and company off the hook.
    worker
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  • Fraud, Waste and Abuse...
    Cathy
    FWA should be the name of the government. I am a Fed and I see waste every day. Too many people for the work to be done, travel, employees who should have been let go years ago, nepotism. Even with supposedly tighter budgets, it's business as usual. It is out of control.
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  • but whose fault is this?
    khp3655
    the tools fed managers have to deal with people who do not perform or are doing things wrong are limited. the inmates, in this case, roam the asylum freely. the best that can be done is keep their damage to a minimum. these directives and policies come from the highest levels of government and touch on some of the most sensitive social issues of our day.
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  • just the tip of the iceberg
    Rob
    If you're a federal employee and have never witnessed wasteful spending of tax payer $ at your agency then you must have your head in the sand. The GSA conference is just the tip of the iceberg. I work at a large agency and see waste everyday. This is especially true during the final two months of the fiscal year. I could list page after page of wasteful purchases/spending; spending that takes place for no other reason than to ZERO out accounts before the end of the FY. Zeroing out accounts is necessary to get the same amount of money next year. Here's a novel idea. If you didn't need the money then give it back. It's not yours to keep.
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  • Wasteful spending?
    Moderate
    Your idea is idealistic, but no realistic. A better idea would be to allow the agency to keep the money to use next year. This would give the agency a reason not to spend the money unwisely.---------As far as not seeing wasteful spending, it is a matter of opinion as to what wasteful spending is. I have seen a little of it, but not a material amount. Of course, I do not have that type of exposure to spending that would allow me to see the spending. Yes, I get my computer items cheaper on the outside. But the government cannot take the time to so because time is money.
    worker
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  • Mr Shaw forgets
    khp3655
    while government workers are human beings subject to all human frailties, the very checks and balances put in to be accountable to the people ensure that where the is smoke, there is not much fire. the anology about the DARE program is flawed when it comes to government workers. We have to get permission to travel, have our itinerary reviewed, our credit card use monitored, our vouchers approved and audited. we have to fill out a form to buy something, get it approved, have someone else purchase it, then get the item placed on inventory and then tracked. This is not like catching your kid smoking a joint and catching them for the first time. It would be like noticing your child was running a non-stop chop shop in your garage. exposing these scandals are purely political and part of the war on government employees and benefits. they, and more importantly the political and mainstream media response, are calculated. it's too bad more Feds and others don't see the smoke because we are the ones that are burning at the stake.
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  • FEDS
    Bud
    Yes,there is waste,abuse,and incompetent workers in the fed govt.civil service.They are the small minority of all employees.As a retired CSRS type;I was an employee,and then first ,second,third,fourth,and fifth level manager for years.The key is dealing with the incompetent,lazy employee.Yes,it takes a lot of time and tons of paperwork.But if you persist you can remove/downgrade employees after remedial efforts fail.When you do,it sends a clear message;do your job.I neveer liked doing this unpleasant task,but it made for a much better work environment.
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  • Bud, I wish it was that simple...
    Fed Lifer
    FED Have over 30 years of service and been in management for the latter 12 years of my career. I am proud of my accomplishments and grateful for those who’ve helped me arrive at my current position. That said, I’ve done the painstakingly labor intensive effort of documenting poor performers, had those difficult conversations and dealt with the backlash of one of the strongest federal labor unions in the country. All with varying degrees of success; I have been falsely accused of everything from racism to age discrimination with NO proof or basis of fact. When confronted with their poor performance, several employees have resorted to these tactics to draw attention from the fact that they are simply incompetent or need to move on to a position for which they are better suited. All of this work plus having to expend time and funding for agency legal defense is for naught only to have my senior execs acquiesce to the union and throw me under the bus because THEY lack the courage to do what’s right. For the most part, we have a hard working group of dedicated people. The ones who don’t fit in that category are toxic ingrates. Their sense of entitlement is huge and if management was allowed to effectively deal with them, they would have been gone a long time ago. They continue to do next to nothing and collect a paycheck knowing that the union will back them up, intimidate executives and further their government welfare activity.
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  • Protections are needed
    Moderate
    However, there are managers who are very egotistical and/or incompetent. They use the system to stick it to workers they do not like. Most are not like that, but more than a few are. That is why the protections are needed.
    worker
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  • Been There, Done That
    X-taxman
    Bud, I definitely gotta go with Fed Lifer on this one. My experiences are largely the same as his/hers. The documentation required for conduct and performance cases is ridiculous (unless you're one of those higher levels, then you don't have to do much at all, of course) and after it's all done, upper management frequently does not support front line just because they don't want to deal with the Union. The climate Fed Lifer describes is spot on correct. I'm all for protecting the employee when it's needed, and it is definitely needed at times. But this is ridiculous.
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  • Documentation
    Moderate
    Actually, the documentation is not ridiculous. it is necessary to protect workers against managers who may have a vendetta. If upper management does not want to confront the issue, then the problem is there.-----I am not management. I have seen both sides of the story, incompetent egotistical managers (most are good and doing their best) and incompetent non management people. It goes both ways.
    worker
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  • Hi Bud
    Moderate
    Didn't you work for the IRS? If so, how high did you go? District Director is 3rd unless you retired after the split. Then area director is 3rd.
    worker
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  • Not Everywhere
    X-taxman
    District Director was not third in most of the planet, although it may have been in your area. In the legacy districts, group manager was one, branch chief was two, divisions chief was three, and district director was four. In some parts of the NEW organization, there is no area director. In LB&I, for example, team manger is one, territory manager is two, director of field operations is three, industry director is four, and division chief is five. Which means I guess that Bud had a very lofty position! Glad to hear he had the cojones to deal with poor performers.
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  • To X
    Moderate
    You are right. Mea culpa or however you spell it. I forgot about the division chief.
    worker
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  • FEDS
    Bud
    X-Taxman,I retired as an Assistant Director.Didn't make Director because some HQ execs weren't happy about me dealing with a few poor performers who'd been given so many chances to improve.That didn't bother me.In the "old" service center,we had Director,Division,Branch,Section,Unit level managers so that's how you get 5 levels.
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  • Work Locations
    Moderate
    I think our focuses are much different. I am in exam (audit) in regular offices and not Service Centers. I have heard of many problems in the Service Centers that were rare in the field. This is probably why my views are different than yours.
    worker
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  • Speaking of Abuse, does this count?
    contrarian
    I heard the DEA locked up some college kid and forgot him in the cell over the weekend? Are you kidding me? This has to be a joke, like no real govt agency would let this happen right? I'm afraid this may happen to DD if he ever ticks off the wrong person. Although some coworkers may think their job is a version of this with bathroom privileges and work release to go home to sleep. Either way govt puts you on your own for food.
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  • No joke
    deployed decoy
    C, You must have missed this news. The kid survived by drinking his own pp, hand cuffed in a dark room. I am not worried about this, that would leave a body and mess. I am worried someone will take me out in the desert and make it look like I was gang raped and gutted by a herd of white man behind loving Arabs... Time to get out of this place. My car broke down a couple months ago one friday night about 9PM. Before I could flag down one of the million stalking taxis, 3 different Arab men slammed on the breaks and asked if I needed a ride anyplace I wanted, with a big smile...
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  • Univeral rules
    contrarian
    Not trusting strangers applies everywhere. Stay safe out there.
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