Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Jobbers (Goverment Muck of the Week)

Anyone who's worked in the federal government for a decent length of time has probably seen or heard of it. Someone goes through the months long process of hiring, is put in place, and is then out the door within a month or two, maybe less. Turnover in the government is downright absurd, and it's damaging when one considers the ridiculous, no more like LUDICROUS, process you have to go through here (cring with me, 5th). Hiring and firing done in a centralized manner with centralized rules for one of the biggest employers in the US isn't just idiotic, it's downright dangerous.

I've always been one to argue that each agency and department should conduct its own hiring and devise their own systems, and the Partnership for Public Service has made one hell of a case for me in their latest report. While all you contractors out there may argue again and again this just means the government should outsource more, remember how horrifying it would be if IBM was deciding what IT products should be bought with taxpayer money and then ordering some stuff from its own catalog, or that the Air Force buys a plane because Boeing says so (Disclaimer: I've seen this happen repeatedly already, and it's just a small and non-disturbing example of a large and disturbing systematic problem of no institutional capacity.)

Back to the subject at hand, write your Congressman and tell them to get rid of this bureaucratic leviathan. It's proven time and time again it writes obsolete and incompetent rules, cripples agency abilities to hire qualified candidates, prolongues the process to a glacial speed, and generally causes insanity (thx Screenhead) in those who have to work with it.