As most of you may feel, I am quite fascinated (and saddened) by all of the incidences reported recently of corruption by government and employers and the suffering of whistleblowers for their candid commitment, and resolve to do the right thing. I have been hearing about some specific cases also from people like you.
For instance, some time ago, I published a post regarding a government activity, Defense Security Service, continuing to schedule wasteful “all-hands” meetings, where employees are flown to one or two locations across the country and put up in hotels, to sit and listen to talking heads for a week. One source quoted a cost of about a million dollars spent by the DSS each time employees were ordered to report to these meetings. That did not include the salary requirements for these government employees, as they were still technically on duty, though sitting in meetings, they were not at their work-site, working.
The way this was scheduled, a managers-only all-hands was held first. Then the field employees in four regions were divided up to attend one of two all-hands meetings; one for eastern half and one for western half of the country. There also was an all-hands meeting for counter-intelligence activity employees within DSS, and then an all-hands meeting for DSS computing security employees.
All of this spending was going on while many agencies and activities were being cut. I have heard of quick planning going on to spend money fast, before it could be “lost” or reappropriated to prevent critical cuts in other areas of government. I have heard that due to the discomfort and unwanted negative attention brought to bear on DSS previously for this gigantic wasteful annual misspending of money, the DSS Director and managers attempted to change the name of these boondoggles from “all-hands meetings” to”all-hands trainings.” Last year, I am told, they held them, in defiance of being told by higher up not to hold those meetings.
What’s in a name? It appears DSS director, Stanley Sims and his manager cronies, thought that since they were also being criticised for the lack of meaningful and high quality training for their field employees, they could dodge the bullet by calling the meetings, “trainings,” and then continue the same sorry events exactly as before. So the same meetings were held under the new label of training with the same old format and succession of talking heads. In other words, hold employees captive in front of those talking heads for a week, (with little opportunity for meaningful training, or skill development, or true collaboration time for DSS employees to work on problem solving and improvements in how they do their oversight duties). I have been updated that this year 2013, there were no meetings, (or meetings labeled as trainings), held, due to sequestration, and the close scrutiny that all such activities were being given.
Also, in the DSS activity, I have heard of more incidences of harassment of DSS employees by managers, reports that the DSS Director has gone about the country threatening employees who have complained about the issue of DSS managers pressuring employees to work unreported overtime, that if the employees are not willing to work when he wants, where he wants, and however long he wants, they can leave, or he’ll “fire their ass.” True story; my sources are very adamant about this. So nothing has changed. It is still a sorry mess, despite Richard Lawhorn’s (Director of Field Operations, DSS) public statements to the contrary. So while those who have been conducting these illegal activities protest in public, behind the scenes the abuse of civil servants continues.
I have also been hearing about new incidences of nepotism and cronyism within DSS, in actions taken by managers, including the Director. I’d appreciate anyone who can elaborate on any of this contacting me. Please see the “About” section of this blog, for email contact information. I also would like to hear from those of you with different examples from government or industry.
There just appears to be an even more expanding wave of corruption going through the government. I heard a whistleblower last night on a national radio program, berating Attorney General, Eric Holder, for his lack of willingness to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing. I appreciated hearing her interview. This exact problem has bothered me ever since Eric Holder, in a lower position in the AG’s office, crafted and positioned the Non-Prosecution Agreement first used with Boeing in the Druyan/Sears Tanker scandal. He appears to have continued this same philosophy to the present day, as the U.S. Attorney General, to the chagrin of a great many whistleblowers, and victims of the corrupted ones in government and industry.
Persist! And please, keep communicating with me. I wish to bring your concerns to light.