Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

'Best places' survey tapped 263,000 feds...Now what do the REST of you think?

The results are in, folks—and topping this year’s list of best places to work in the federal government (among major agencies) are the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (No.1), the Government Accountability Office (No. 2) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (No. 3).

Rounding out the top 10, in descending order, are the Smithsonian Institute, NASA, Social Security Administration, State Department, General Services Administration, Department of Justice, and (collectively) the Intelligence Community.

For the glass half-empty folks, the 10 large agencies scraping the bottom of the same list were, starting with 23rd place, the Department of Labor, Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Homeland Security, Small Business Administration, Department of Education, and—tied for last place—Department of Housing and Urban Development and National Archives and Records Administration.

In all, the Partnership for Public Service, which just released the rankings, ranks 290 large and small federal agencies and subcomponents using OPM survey responses from 263,000 employees. There are also separate rankings based on criteria like work-life balance, leadership and pay.

So, how about it—are the results fair? Do you work at NRC or GAO—or another agency in the top 10—and if so, are you are loving life at work? Or if you work for DHS, HUD, NARA or other lagging agency, do you agree? Or are the coworkers who dissed your agency just whiners?

Posted by Nathan Abse on Sep 01, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Sun, Sep 26, 2010 Outraged Taxpayer NOAA

For several years I have been hearing upsetting stories about favoritism and fraud at NOAA. I know a person who works for NOAA Alaska Fisheries and this person has told me of many instances of mismanagement, among them that huge bonuses ranging from $12,000 to over $55,000 each that have been awarded to three NOAA personnel. As a tax payer, I would like to know how such bonuses are awarded. What is the process and what were the reasons that justified such high awards for administrative personnel? This should be a public process with a committee sign-off, not as it was implied by my friend (an employee there), the results of rampant cronyism. Our former WA Governor Gary Locke (now Director of the Commerce Dept.)is an honorable person --- I hope he will take notice and look into this. An independent team should be launched who can investigate and not only question the perpetrators (who have apparently lied and covered-up past issues), but who will question other staff who have the incriminating data, would be crucial to exposing the deep problems at this agency. While the scientists are going about their important work, the administators appear to have an entirely different mission and it is not a noble one.

Fri, Sep 10, 2010 AFSC, NOAA Seattle

Cronyism, Harassment and Abuse by the management, Retaliation

AFSC leadership's management style is not leadership that takes the high road. Rather, AFSC leadership remains one of in-action and cover-up, which creates a breeding-ground of turmoil at AFSC.

The screw ups and suck ups continue to get promoted well, the dedicated and outspoken become stuck in their current position or demoted.

Staff that were exposed to the irate and documented the scene in writing as instructed by DOC "NO FEAR" trainers have received repercussions suggesting a conflict resolution class to learn how not to "not become involved".

AFSC staff also discovered small (under $100) "habitual monthly credit card theft" and this was covered-up by the supervisors.

The staffers that made the discovery of the fraudulent activities are smeared by the supervisor and are told not to discuss the issue with anyone! This type of treatment makes it difficult for any government employee to speak up.

Tue, Sep 7, 2010 Cindy Waldport, OR

John in Orlando says this: The bottom line is that it is a job that pays my bills and allows me to live in relative comfort. What others think of where we work has zero impact on my life or attitude.

Right On John! We all need to stop whining and cooperate with management. It's part of our jobs. You have a right to file a complaint if they ask too much of you but for goodness sakes, use some good, honest common sense. If you screw up at your job, you should be warned once, disciplined the next time, maybe go on 3 days LWOP, and then go on 2 weeks LWOP or be fired. I am doing my best to create a fun but industrious workplace. Others may try to discourage me but I won't let them. I'm the low man on the totem pole and I can make a difference.

Sun, Sep 5, 2010 Soon to be target California

There should be much more emphasis put on the percentage of employees that do not respond to this periodic survey. All of my fellow employees that I know that have not participated refuse to do so because they do not believe that they will remain anonymous. We are told daily by the managemnet goons that every keystroke is recorded. So my guess is that a large majority of the non participants have stong negative feelings about their management officials and simply are fearful that if they respond to the survey they will be found out and disciplined.

When evaluating the results one must consider the persons that did not respond because of fear. I believe that a greater percent of the "favored Kiss A**" employees and managers respond than do ordinary employees and this actually skews the results towards the positive.

BLM California hasn't made their results available to date. I believe that is because the results of the survey would display a strong vote of no confidence in management. I know that our HR group is simply incompetent and not up to the task. But they'll "getchya" if they can. The leader of the pack is ruthless and really out of control, but provides cover for the waste, fraud and abuse of his "club" members.

I wonder if requiring more training for supervisors will help. We'll still see the favorites being promoted regardless of their skills and their mentors rule by absolute authority and fear, not by true leadership. The only way to change the corrupt culture image of government service is to hold management accountable. Many are corrupted by power and need to be removed from their positions, not protected.

The media should lead the charge by separating management officials that are responsible for waste fraud and abuse from the term "employee" and hold management accountable. Most regular federal service employees endure the culture because of their dedication to public service.

We all know that it is far easier to promote an incompetent federal employee into management than to remove them, particularly if his mentor is also incompetent. Then add in the mix the protected classes and ....

Sun, Sep 5, 2010 California

Things have changed since I retired from the FAA/DOT. But I had the best job as an air traffic controller and I loved going to work every day. My bosses left me alone to do my job. I have nothing bad to say about the FAA/DOT.

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