Letter to the editor

I find Milt Zall's call to hire more feds a real hoot, "More feds, not fewer" [Federal Computer Week, Oct. 15, 2001].

I agree with him, but based on what I read and see at work, the Bush administration and the president's cronies in Congress do not see it the same way. In their eyes, all government employees are slugs and should be replaced with great and glorious contract employees because they work cheaper and do not carry the pension liabilities that government employees do.

If I sound like I am bitter, I am. I just signed up for a Visa buyout today because when the A-76 is completed, the organization I work for will have no GS-14s and each branch chief will have at least 30 employees to supervise. The employees who keep their jobs will be trying to do the work of at least three people.

Right now, in my division, I have a staff of 50 employees, which is a reduction from 114 employees before consolidation took place in my agency. We are doing more with these employees than was done before consolidation, but after awhile we can only squeeze the turnip so hard.

In fact, the philosophy of my agency is that if each person is not working 10 hours of overtime, we are overstaffed. The director of my agency has banned the use of the term "vacancy" by his direct reports.

One other thought: Congress is always bashing the bureaucrats and blaming us for the problems, but they seem to forget they are the No. 1 bureaucrats with whom all of the laws begin that employees are trying to implement and apply to the workaday world.

Name withheld by request

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