4:25 pm, April 28, 2015

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  • ehh. Is anyone still paying any attention to these matters anymore?
    Lisa Lisa
    I dont know anyone is really paying attention to these matters anymore. The sensationalism IMO is gone. I think most general public doesnt even know what GSA is (less the beltway area). As for the secret service, well, I think that had a little more grit to it. Here are these Men in Black guys who talk in the sleeves, wear dark sunglasses, you know..very mysterious and tough looking that are supreme guards if you will..and they do what? On yea, the public can sink their teeth in to this. Its almost movie quality. But that was eons ago and its now old news in the fast moving media world we live in now. Congress will demand heads, maybe some hearings and lay the hammer down for tighter restraints and then its over. Were these isolated incidents? Well, only if you get caught. As for GSA, how does an agency spend the gobs of mooney it took to do the Vegas thing and noone asked a question? Seems to me a better checks and balances need to happen for agnecies that want to spend, lets say $500K or more on something. There has to be some sort of checks and balances otherwise, every now and then..someone will spend it unwisely. As for the secret service..I suspect the mentality of an old military saying "What goes TDY stays TDY" still is holding strong. TDY means Temporary Duty for the non-miitary. I suspect many Secret Service were military so that mindset stays and now that they have the ultimate cool job, I suspect that some of these guys got a little too cocky and ego driven with the coolest and badest job ever. Although still dont understand why anyone in this day and age would pick up foreign hookers...(shaking head) especially with Iphones and cameras...the actions of those secret service men made it easy for the agency to shake out the weak links. You are never going to have picture perfect people making picture perfect decisions..it happens. Learn from it and move on. I really think the public long has moved on, on this matter.
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  • Big difference
    Bill Samuel
    I am still puzzled by the fact that the Secret Service Director still has a job, and in fact keeps getting praised by the President and Members of Congress. This despite his highly embarassing performance at a Congressional hearing, where he denied that this is more than a one-time problem, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And despite our country's (or at least our politicians) obsession with "national security" which this scandal affects, and the GSA scandal did not affect. What explains this? How much is explained by the fact that the GSA Administrator was a woman and the SS Director is a man? I have never seen any good ecplanation of why the SS Director has not been canned.
    Bill Samuel Silver Spring, MD 20906
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  • Is anyone still paying attention?
    jpcarson
    If anyone were *really* paying attention (psst - Congress or media), they would be "pulling the string" to identify common factors in these 2 different scandals in two different agencies. If anyone were intrepid enough to do so, instead of twittering about the Kardashian's, they would find the common "DNA" of the federal civil service - whether employed at GSA or Secret Service, CIA, or SSA all federal agency employees are members of the federal civil service - are the nine "merit system principles" codified in law by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA). Agency violations of these "merit system principles" are termed "prohibited personnel practices (PPPs)" (12 types are codified in law). The bottom line objective of the CSRA was to create the statutory framework and implementing agencies so members of the federal civil service - both at Secret Service and GSA - could perform their duties in a trustworthy fashion, per the merit system principles while being adequately protected from PPPs. The CSRA is a failure, because feds are not adequately protected from PPPs, which enables the dysfunction and/or corruption evidenced in Secret Service and GSA. The "question that must not be asked" is whether the fact or perception of PPPs was a causal factor in the Secret Service and/or GSA scandal. Asking that question will open a Pandora's box the President and Congress want firmly shut, similar to Catholic Bishops wanting no questions asked about their involvement/knowledge of pedofile priests. And you play along, best I can tell, Mike Causey. Generates scandals which give you job security.
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  • This is tame compared to where I work
    Teachersson
    Golly, gee willikers, where I work they just accuse you of being a terrorist and get the IMCOM commander to kick you out of the workplace if they don't like you. They can do that, and do indeed do that after the "Hasan Fort Hood" incident. Now every worker can press the panic button and have people ejected from post by IMCOM especially if you are perceived as competition to them. Then they are rewarded on their evaluations for eliminating people who are not acolytes and yes men. Personnel files are doctored to make the accusations right, and EEO is told to dismiss any case! Conspiracy and collusion is rewarded. I don't see anyone from GSA or Secret Service wrongly accused of being a terrorist. I guess DoD is more into sensationalism and drama than the GSA and Secret Service, but they don't get the news coverage for purely evil acts.
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  • A Tale of Two Agencies
    EBrown
    The stories on the GSA & Secret Service are only in the news because they are sexy. Vegas, booze, prostitutes, lavish food and people acting like they are Wall Street high rollers will always grab media attention over the U.S. credit rating taking a plunge. We've all accepted the federal government is a money pit but at what cost. Tax payer rip offs are important but don't get the press they deserve. Think of these costs in terms of salaries of all the people involved on the front end and the back end of these debacles. The $900K conference will cost the tax payers ten times that much by the time the scandal over. However, what is below the surface is the fact that government employees go along to get along because of the well documented history of harm to federal whistleblowers. Despite the fact that all federal service workers and political appointees hold a duty to protect the federal interest, they work in a culture that encourages corruption. The federal service worker who blows the whistle on abuse of power, mismanagement and fraud within the government will be seen as a trouble maker, traitor, snitch and disloyal, even if they report specific dangers to public health and safety including harm to children. Case after case of whistleblower retaliation shows the once valued employee will be harassed by co-workers, management and quickly stripped of their work in order to cover up the wrongdoing. Anyone supporting the whistleblower will also come under scrutiny. The disclosures will be overshadowed by the agency's scheme, bolstered by in-house counsel to discredit the whistleblower. Suddenly the whistleblower is no longer a good employee despite past exemplary performance. The employee's work is taken away, they are demoted and sidelined with nothing to do. Or summarily dismissed if they haven't been employed for over a year. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, medical and other professionals, all report being put out on admin leave while the fed agency builds a case for removal. The whistleblower becomes distracted from reporting the original disclosures while they attempt to save their livelihood. The public may never know anything about the disclosures or enormous waste of tax payer money spent to silence the truth teller. Money we all pay for safe roads and airlines, food for children, clean water and air, national parks, veterans assistance...is diverted to find ways to fire whistleblowers. Even when the whistleblower reports the violations of law to the Office of Special Counsel and an Inspector General, agency management will not stop unrelenting abuse including violations of constitutional rights. OSC & the IG may actually stand idly by watching the harm to the whistleblower, knowing their disclosures are true. It becomes a battle of the titans. It is much easier to fire a person making $75K a year than to call out management in Region IX for abusing their authority and wasting tax payer money for decades. Federal management have the power to remove the honest employee from employment because there is no limit to the amount of money that can be used to crush a whistleblower. And the federal work force lives in fear of management who can destroy a great career in a matter of months. It has been unknown how much money the federal government spends each year violating employment law rights through discrimination and whistleblower retaliation. In order to calculate these costs, our organization has begun an investigation. Preliminary findings reveal that agencies are diverting funds from operating budgets and wastefully spending tens of millions of dollars each year to harm whistleblowers and discriminate against federal workers. Tax payers should be aware there is no money allocated by Congress to spend on these purposes. Thus, agencies will siphon off money intended for public good to pay for damages and attorney fees in meritorious whistleblower cases. For more information please contact us. EBrown, CEO, Whistlewatch.org
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