Tag Archive: Karl Hellmann


I received a follow up comment from “An Old Navy Man” today.  He states:

“I guess Lawhorn will have to share underwear with Cole and Hellman now.  The Beltway rumor is that Vince Taylor was encouraged to move on.”

 

Original Post – story

GFS,

 

There’s an old Navy story about a ship’s Captain who inspected his sailors.  Afterward he told the first mate that his men smelled bad.  Perhaps it would help if the sailors would change underwear occasionally.  The first mate responded “Aye, aye sir, I’ll see to it immediately!”

 

The first mate went straight to the sailor’s berth and announced, “The Captain thinks you guys smell bad and wants you to change your underwear.”  The first mate continued, “Watson, you change with Sterling.”  “Taylor you change with Cole.”  “Lawhorn you change with Hellmann.”

 

The moral of the story-   someone may come along and promise change, but don’t count on things smelling any better.

 

It’s time for the Office of the Secretary of Defense to hand the Industrial Security mission back to the Government Contracting Authorities.

 

From an old Navy man

 

DSS Employees Face Growing Reprisal and Abuse

I have been informed by several people that the Defense Security Service is continuing to assign employees to remote locations and load them down with way too much work to complete in the time allotted for the temporary duty assignment location. Federal workers have been expected to put in full days of inspections, and then spend many hours each night working on the paperwork and reports. Pressure is put on them to work these unpaid overtime hours, though no overtime pay is offered or requests for same accepted. Employees are being threatened or intimidated by insinuation of ratings of unsatisfactory by managers if they will not shut up and do this.

This is called “Forced Overtime” and is illegal. To demand your employees work hours beyond their scheduled paid work day, or 40 hour work week without pay, is wrong. We have labor laws to protect workers from that. Obviously some managers and agency directors must think they are above the law.

The other problem, I am told in the case of DSS by my beltway sources, is that they are using taxpayer dollars in an imprudent manner. DSS managers are sending people from various offices around to other offices to do remote work there. By example, if some employees in a Virginia office are pulled out and sent to a California office to one of the offices there, and at the same time some employees are sent from that California office to that same Virginia office, there is only a trade of location of personnel.

The effective difference is when sent on these forced TDY’s the employees are told they must fly out Sunday or Monday early, do all of the work tasked at the remote assignment site, including reports, and must have everything completed before they will be allowed to get on a plane to go home Friday night. (I guess if your employees are working at their home office where they live, it is not so easy to demand all of this unpaid overtime, as people can just go home at the end of their work day in their own cars, and don’t have to rely on government paid airplane tickets, or deal with threats about leaving before they’ve done all the unpaid overtime.

This kind of demand seems to be being made most heavily on already understaffed and overworked offices. Those that can least afford to have time pulled away from their already overwhelming workload are the most heavily hit. One theory is that this is being done intentionally as retribution toward a whole office and its employees, and a lot of the frenzy is the use of smoke and mirrors to try to cover up how some people and offices are being targeted. If this is happening to you, please let me know.

Also, I know many of you are being terrorized and are afraid to stand up. I would suggest that at this time you NOT send in a hotline report to the DSS (Defense Security Service) IG hotline. Please contact the overall DoD IG and if you are complaining about abuse of employees or harassment and retaliation, contact the Reprisal Office that handles Title V employee reprisal issues. Other things you may wish to report may be reported also, but if they are criminal in nature, cannot be handled by the Reprisal office. They will probably forward them to the appropriate officials if asked to do so by you.

I don’t know all of the details. I really would like to know why this is happening and if it is happening everywhere in DSS. I would also like to know if it is happening in other DoD agencies or even agencies outside of DoD.

If you have any clarity on this issue, please comment. It seems that this agency in particular, (DSS), is committing major waste, fraud and abuse, if all of this is going on. Especially in today’s economic mess, taxpayers do not need certain government agency directors and managers wasting more of the taxpayer’s money.

If there is anyone in the IG’s or Justice Department still actually doing their job it should be stopped now! If you can, please get in your two cents worth. Thanks, GFS

Following the failures mentioned previously in this blog regarding DSS management’s handling of the DSS mission, and treatment of employees, I was sent this information.

I have heard from sources through the Beltway that Kathleen Watson’s  resume is currently out to industry and other government agencies.  Has anyone else heard these same rumors?  GFS

Update:  8-29-10

I have also heard changes are happening for Richard Lawhorn.  It is not clear if he is being promoted or forced out.  It is also not clear if someone might be moving him sideways and out of the line of fire, now that DSS is the subject of DoD IG investigations. 

The cavalier treatment of field employees continues, including “forced overtime” without pay, remote temporary assignments to other field offices, which make no practical sense other than as apparently as a tool to further harass and stress out employees.  It does not appear anyone is taking action to stop these wayward and mean spirited managers at this point.  Anyone have any perspective or more stories of the situation?  -GFS

The Center for Public Integrity posted an article (Nick Schwellenbach) in October of 2008, which  exemplifies the ongoing problems within DoD regarding failed policies and management that have contributed if not caused massive fraud waste and abuse to continue unabated in government contracting and in defense into the present. 

I have written previously about the elements that have contributed to this sorry state of affairs, including undermining of federal field personnel in a variety of ways including withholding necessary training and information, undermining of employees ability to do their oversight jobs by withholding funds for travel and other elements necessary to do their jobs, overloading employees with overwhelming case load assignments, and burying employees in nightmare statistical requirements, and reporting in duplicate and triplicate databases. 

Oversight employees also are selected by the problem management sometimes in strange and inappropriate ways.  Some are not well prepared to step in to the oversight roles they are hired to do.   Combining that with the apparent intent that management has of keeping them barefoot and pregnant, unable to do anything about what they may or may not recognize is wrong when they do go out on inspections and the lack of ongoing appropriate levels of technical training equals a giant trainweck.  Most of this all goes on beneath the public and media radar.  When an employee insists on trying to do the  job they were hired and often took an oath to do, they are targeted and every attempt is made to destroy their career and their lives. 

If someone were deliberately scheming and planning to bring oversight to a grinding halt, it could be no better orchestrated.  At the base of all of this is a multitude of compromised or corrupted managers, revolving door participants with screwed up loyalties, quid pro quo arrangements and what may be bribery in the way of the potential of a lucrative job after govenment service, with any one of  the many defense contractors supposedly overseen by our government employees and managers. 

Link to Center for Public Integrity Article: 

http://www.publicintegrity.org/blog/entry/896/