Veterans and agency hiring managers have mixed thoughts on the success of the veterans preference program. But there is some consensus that current regulations are too confusing and complex for both veterans and agencies.
If we start with these seven basics, we could have the potential to design a more accountable civil service that is free of political influence.
Federal employee engagement has been studied extensively through the Office of Personnel Management’s annual viewpoint study. Julie Osowski, senior research psychologist at Merit Systems Protection Board, tells Federal Drive with Tom Temin about MSPB’s effort to look beyond the external factors that affect employee engagement.
There isn’t much more the Veterans Affairs Department can do, now that the Merit Systems Protection Board overturned punishments for two of four senior executives accused of misconduct. The VA handed out lighter punishments to the four VBA leaders, despite criticism from Congress.
Accountability in the Senior Executive Service will be at the center of congressional discussions on a new omnibus legislative package for the Veterans Affairs Department. Senate VA Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said he wants the VA and the committee to finish its work on the legislation by April 1.
A group of Republican senators criticized the Merit Systems Protection Board for overturning disciplinary actions taken against corrupt Veterans Affairs Department bureaucrats. The board and its array of administrative judges almost always uphold agency actions. Attorney Debra D’Agostino, partner at the Federal Practice Group, helps Federal Drive with Tom Temin sort things out.
The Merit Systems Protection Board processed nearly 30,000 cases in fiscal 2015, a 63 percent increase over 2014, according to an annual report.
Thanks to the flawed Choice Act Congress hastily passed in 2014, SESers exist in a sort of twilight of civil service protection.
John Palguta of the Partnership for Public Service has a command of the technical and legal complexities of federal employment. But he also has a feel for the human realities of being a public servant.
VA’s processes for evaluating people are so messed up that leadership ends up living the legend that you can’t do anything about federal employees no matter how badly they perform.