Shooting Fish In A Barrel: EPA Management Edition

In what comes as a major shock (I almost titled this post “Dog Bites Man”), EPA’s Office of the Inspector General has issued a report concluding that EPA needs better control over its staff resources. The summary conclusion pretty much tells it all: (my emphasis)

EPA does not enforce a coherent program of position management to assure the efficient and effective use of its workforce. While some organizational elements have independently established programs to control their resources, there is no Agency-wide effort to ensure that personnel are put to the best use. Prior to April 2010, EPA had the Position Management and Control Manual, which required an Agency-wide program. However this manual was not enforced and in April 2010 it was cancelled without replacement. According to the cancellation memorandum, the manual was eliminated because Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM) officials believed EPA had other mechanisms in place to appropriately manage and control its positions. However, the other mechanisms do not provide similar effects, controls, or documentation. Without an Agency-wide position management program, EPA leadership lacks reasonable assurance that it is using personnel in an effective and efficient manner to achieve mission results.

In all seriousness, does this surprise anyone who deals with EPA on a regular basis? Sometimes, EPA is its own worst enemy. Greenwire has already reported that the OIG report will be the topic of a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing this week. This is not going to help EPA in Congressional budget debates.

Frankly, while I’m sure that there are some measures EPA can take to improve its deployment of personnel, these are difficult issues, as long as civil service is still around. It’s a little off-topic, but if the GOP really wants to rein in government personnel costs, instead of attacking public employee unions, how about eliminating civil service at both the state and federal levels?

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