Hiring and other managerial practices were prominent on the latest compilation of “Federal Fumbles” by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., a list that draws on GAO, IG and other investigations to highlight shortcomings that he says should be used by agency heads and Congress in deciding on programs to reform–or defund.
“Several of the entries in this book involve instances in which agencies have spent taxpayer dollars before engaging in effective planning to ensure the item or program is feasible, cost effective, or even possible. That can and should be easily fixed,” he said in the introduction.
Highlighted personnel management issues include: the continued rehiring by the IRS of former employees who had been previously fired due to conduct or performance issues; DHS’s inability to fulfill the White House’s goal of hiring some 15,000 new CBP and ICE agents, with the time to hire averaging 456 days; reimbursement by the Energy Department of an employee’s studies not related to the position; and abuse of telework, among more.
Also included are general management issues such as delayed response to potential hacking and other cyber threats to government IT systems; improper payments; inadequate oversight of contractors; construction delays on federal facilities; loss of control over vehicles and other physical property; lack of compliance with Buy American Act acquisition rules; cost-overruns; and others.
The senator’s list also points blame at Congress for slowness in confirming nominees for political appointments, with the result that “federal agencies and departments lack the day-to-day management necessary to fulfill their missions.”