Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

Getting rid of the deadwood

“Employees should be retained on the basis of the adequacy of their performance.”

So begins the sixth Merit Principle, which goes on to say that “inadequate performance should be corrected, and employees should be separated who cannot or will not improve their performance to meet required standards.”

Although some critics (including some feds themselves) complain that there are feds who just don’t pull their weight, the Merit Systems Protection Board points out that the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 — which codified the nine Merit Principles — “was designed to address was the difficulty of discharging employees for poor performance.”

Before the act became law, MSPB says, one lawmaker characterized the web of rules and regulations governing civil service as the “refuge of the incompetent employee.”

That same lawmaker, Sen. Abraham Ribicoff, noted that when “incompetent and inefficient employees are allowed to stay on the rolls, it is the dedicated and competent employee who must increase his workload so that the public may be benefited.” (Anyone who has worked in any job, public or private, can identify with that one.)

The act added a chapter to the U.S. Code called “Performance Appraisal” and authorized new standards for evaluating performance —and sanctions of removal or demotion for unacceptable performance.

So the means to discharge the worst performers are laid down in law, according to MSPB.

So we ask you: Does it work?

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Jun 07, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Fri, Dec 23, 2011 Shelly Schwartlander San Diego, CA

My EEO case is diverted to MPSB and has nothing whatsoever to do with performance. It is a complaint about retaliation and disability. SSA, ODAR is protected by SSA's Office of Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity in Baltimore that takes apart an employee's complaint as they have done with mine to remove evidence the employee submits so, by the time it gets to EEOC which is rare, there is nothing left but what looks like a management complaint against the employee!

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 FISD - Boyers, pa

WOW!!! It would appear that people have a higher opinion of things than I do.

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 John Elliott Warner robins, Ga

I am a proud DOD employee. I have almost 30 years working for my uncle SAM. I believe in 8 hors work for 8 hours pay. My father once told me, if you think someone in this world owes you a living, your damb badly fooled. He was and is right. This new generation of FERS employees need to go to work. Nuf said. Thanks, the old fart.

Mon, Jun 27, 2011

It does not work - due to spineless management. It won't work it the future - due to the competent workers leaving for private industry due to pay and benefit cuts. My resume is out there and I will jump at the first opportunity.

Mon, Jun 13, 2011

And then there are the problem drinkers. It's not that they drink too much, it's that they drink too often. And then there are the upwardly mobile career managers going through menopause AND drinking too often. They are a moody bunch. They have all the same symptoms: A sense of entitlement; They would rather be right than have relationships; False pride; It's always all about them and they worry how everything will affect their professional image. It's a pity because most of these folks really do want a sense of belonging, but they've made themselves unapproachable for the sake of personal power.
Hope they see the light someday.

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