Letter: Feds spend more time training than working

Regarding "Partnership for Public Service creates leadership institute for innovation," a reader writes: The last thing government employees need is more time in a classroom. Where does it end? I swear that between training, conferences, meeting and their generous vacation, federal employees are present for their actual jobs about 50 percent of the year max. They are the most "trained" body of people on the planet? Does it help or hurt, really?  This is typical of a recording on federal employee phone service: "Today is Monday, February 18th. I will be in training this week, on vacation next week, and at a conference until Wednesday, March 5th..." It gets riduculous.  And of course that recording will play until about the 23rd of March.  Here's another common experience for those of us in routine contact with a fed: "...in my absence call Bob Smith or Mary Jones..."  You call Bob and Mary. They are at the same training. And their recording suggests you call the other two.


What do you think? Paste a comment in the box below (registration required), or send your comment to letters@fcw.com (subject line: Blog comment) and we'll post it.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Thu, Mar 20, 2008 Michael Novak

Sounds like "Anonymous" has some sour grapes ... about what, I would not even hazard a guess. But I wonder if "Anonymous" would like to have an untrained Revenue Agent auditing his/her tax return ... or an untrained Air Traffic Controller guiding the plane he/she is riding in ... or an untrained Contracting Officer deciding how to spend his/her tax money. The most "trained" body of people on the planet? If true, perhaps it's because government employees need that training to effectively protect "Anonymous's" rights and to ensure "Anonymous" does not miss any of the government entitlements that he/she deserves.

Thu, Mar 13, 2008 Keith Nelson

For the most part, doing my job comes before training but there have been times when I take "personal time/leave" to get some training when my organization can't afford it. My guess is that there are other fed employees doing the same thing. We're not ALL bad!

Tue, Mar 11, 2008 Barbed Wire

Who has time for training? I don't even have a budget for travel, and every day I have more duties to take care of in the office. I don't know any Fed. IT people that travel and train like that.

Tue, Mar 11, 2008 Phillip Morgan

Training? What training? In my agency (Navair), the only training we can realistically access is the stupid online stuff, that only encourages folks to "get thru it" as quickly as possible (vice actually learning). I say, bravo to more classroom training!

Mon, Mar 10, 2008 mike miller

The reader provided such a generalization! This does not occur in every agency, certainly not mind. It's true that senior staff do travel to conferences, seminars etc. But managers on down, what training is available is on-line. If the reader believes that training, travel is in excess, then voice concerns to the appropriate parties, even the agency IG if necessary.

Show All Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group