Saturday, June 28, 2014

Government Employee Accountability in Action: Federal Workers Travel Easy On The Gravy Train

Congressional testimony on outlandish bonuses at the Department of Veterans Affairs is the latest proof that the nation needs to overhaul how federal workers in every department are paid and promoted. They're on the gravy train, and taxpayers are being taken for a ride.
Back in 1883, Congress passed the Pendleton Act to replace patronage with a federal civil service where workers would be hired and paid based on merit. There is no "merit" anymore. Scramble the letters. What you have now is a "timer" system. Workers put in time and get hefty salaries and bonuses, regardless of work quality, with virtually no risk of being fired.
Gina Farrisee, assistant secretary for human resources at Veterans Affairs, told Congress last Friday that executive bonuses "are awarded only after a rigorous and diligent review." Nonsense.
The regional director overseeing the VA hospital in Pittsburgh collected a $63,000 award in 2012 shortly after six vets treated there died needlessly from legionella, an infection traced directly to poor maintenance of the facility.
The Government Accountability Office investigated VA hospitals nationwide and reported in July 2013 that doctors get bonuses regardless of work quality.
A radiologist cited for mistakes reading mammograms got an $8,216 bonus, even though a professional standards board deemed him unqualified to continue his current duties. A surgeon suspended for 14 days for abandoning a patient on the operating table and leaving the medical center, with only unsupervised residents to complete the procedure, still got a $11,189 annual bonus.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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