Lawmakers Promise to Oversee Government Hiring
As the Federal Diary reported on Thursday, President Obama's $3.6 trillion budget likely will result in many thousands of new hires for the federal government. The problem with that is they will have to go through a hiring process that can be painfully slow and confusing.
Now, there's word that process might come under increased scrutiny from Capitol Hill.
Ed Towns (D-NY), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told the Federal Diary today "in this time of economic crisis, we need to get people in good-paying jobs and back to work as soon as possible. This Committee will address the federal government's hiring issues so that when it comes time to fill the hundreds of thousands of positions that will become available in the near future, the process will be more efficient and effective."
He added that he intends to work with Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), chairman of the subcommittee on the federal workforce, postal service and the District of Columbia. The subcommittee, however, currently has no hiring process hearings on its agenda, but "addressing the problems with the federal hiring process is in the subcommittee plans," said a spokesman.
Thursday's column illustrated recruitment problems issues with the example of Eva Freund, a private contractor who worked on government projects. More than two years ago, she wrote letters to the General Accounting Office regarding employment, yet heard nothing back until we printed her complaint. Those two letters were not part of the formal application process, but the lack of response could not have been encouraging to an apparently well-qualified person who wanted to help a government agency fulfill its mission.
I described Freund as "an electronic archives expert...who felt she was more qualified than some of the federal employees she worked alongside." Calling her an expert was my description. She told me yesterday that she doesn't consider herself an expert, though she said in an e-mail that she "did perform Independent Verification and Validation at the NARA [National Archives and Record Administration] for their Electronic Records Archive (ERA) Project." And she wanted to make it clear that the federal employees she felt better qualified than were "the GAO IT Auditors who came in to evaluate the ERA Project."
March 6, 2009; 2:50 PM ET
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