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Data on disciplined feds no longer reported

In an effort to protect the privacy of federal employees, the Office of Personnel and Management is no longer reporting whether employees are terminated for wrong doing or poor performance.

In an effort to protect the privacy of federal employees, the Office of Personnel and Management is no longer reporting whether employees are terminated for wrong doing or poor performance.

OPM’s FedScope tool — which provides statistical information about the federal civilian workforce — in previous years included specific notations about how an employee separated from the workforce, such as a transfer, death, etc. It also included notations for whether an employee was terminated or disciplined, as well as the age, rank, pay, and other characteristics.

However, Cato Institute policy analyst Alex Nowrasteh wrote in a recent blog post that he noticed the termination and discipline codes were missing from the 2016 separations data.

“When I contacted OPM in July, a public affairs official explained this hole in the agency’s otherwise orderly set of separations data as necessary to ‘protect information at the individual record level’ based on a 2007 memo that laid out federal guidelines for protecting the personally identifiable information of Americans,” Nowrasteh wrote.

Nowrasteh contends that the exclusion in the data will make more difficult to fire problem employees.

“[N]eglecting to report information on federal employees who are fired for serious reasons makes it impossible to reform the federal bureaucracy,” he concluded

Reader comments

Wed, Aug 16, 2017 RetiredOfficer

TANSTAAFL, marketing inconvenience be hanged!... I'm concerned that potential new employers will not get what they need to make an informed hiring decision, particularly about . Teams don't function well when all the gears aren't engaging as directed.

Tue, Aug 15, 2017 doug dc

I think that the blogger is just plain wrong. I see data for terminations and removal (Discipline/Performance) at: https://www.fedscope.opm.gov/ibmcognos/cgi-bin/cognosisapi.dll

Tue, Aug 15, 2017 Dave FL

I agree, it isn't a matter of public need/value to see how or why someone was terminated. That's between the gaining employer to do his due diligence when rehiring any employee (i.e. checking references).

Thu, Aug 10, 2017 Russ Georgia

Sounds like the past administrations striking again to protect the guilty. If you are terminated/fired for cause, your records should reflect that.

Thu, Aug 10, 2017 TANSTAAFL

Hmmm ... not seeing the causal link here. How does protecting the personal info of someone who has been terminated, even for a serious offense, make it "impossible to reform the federal bureaucracy?" Market researchers and other statisticians make use of aggregate data to drive their clients' decisions.

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