Letters to the editor

Flawed agenda

Despite the comments of Clay Johnson, the Office of Management and Budget's deputy director for management, every federal employee I know is unhappy with the President's Management Agenda. They have zero confidence in management's real intent and know that even without the proposed changes, good employees are treated unfairly and unequally because personnel practices are subject to nepotism and cronyism (see "Fed workers like Bush agenda," FCW.com, Sept. 3).

Every part of the agenda is flawed and no one, except favorite sons, would say anything positive about the program.

Michael P. Deslippe Defense Finance and Accounting Service

OMB execs live in another world

I am a systems programmer and have recently been displaced after our unorganized reorganization this past year. I have been working for the government since 1986. I'd certainly like to know who in the government in their right mind is pleased with the President's Management Agenda.

President Bush plans on getting rid of all of us and contracting out jobs with a good possibility of a reduction in force. No one I work with agrees with this FCW.com article, and no one I know can say they are satisfied with their pay. After they have turned the agency upside down with reorganizations and put people in jobs for which they have no background, who says they are satisfied? Morale here is so low that if it got any lower, we'd be in China.

Please, where is Clay Johnson living? On the moon?

Janet M. de Leon Internal Revenue Service

NASA's problem is leadership

If threats and intimidation silence NASA engineers so that they do not make accurate reports or raise concerns forcefully, then the culture at NASA is the result of poor leadership and bad management. Hence, it was deliberate and culpability exists. These are systemic causes that must be dealt with accordingly. Engineers who function in this environment should not be singled out for their failings if their survival, if not their sanity, depends on any resultant complacency.

Letting those responsible for perpetuating, if not establishing, the work culture at NASA be the ones required to facilitate a new culture is moronic. There is a big credibility problem, and many need to resign in order to overcome this.

Issues like these go beyond NASA, and if the public or our elected officials neglect to demand positive action and quantifiable results, the problems at NASA are our own, and we lose any right to criticize. More importantly, without public pressure, any chance of reform is pure fantasy.

Jim Mauroff

Federal Aviation Administration

TSP now working? Don't think so

I applied for a loan in June. The application was approved, and the loan agreement was sent to my home, where my wife and I signed it and then mailed it back to the Thrift Savings Plan. Subsequently, the loan agreement was rejected because of a glitch in the computer software used to compare the Loan Application signature with the Loan Agreement signature. Because my wife forgot to use her middle initial in one of the documents, the whole process was rejected.

I can live with a computer glitch here or there. What I can't live with is a customer service phone system that dates back to the Stone Age. I had to call at least, with no exaggeration, 20 or more times before I could get through to a TSP representative. Each time I called, the message sent you on your way with "Press 1," etc. and said to "Please wait," at which time the system dropped the phone connection. Each time I called back, the same thing happened.

Finally, after almost three months, I threw up my hands and wrote a nasty note to Arizona Sen. John McCain's office, explaining the entire mess. I'm not sure how, but the next Monday — shazam! — the loan funds had been transferred to my checking account.

If I performed as badly as the so-called new TSP system does, I would have been terminated a long time ago.

Name withheld by request

USAJobs a mess for existing fed workers

I consider the Office of Personnel Management's new USAJobs Web site a box office bust as opposed to the success claimed in your Circuit article of Aug. 11. Overall, the site is tedious, time-consuming and the most difficult version to use yet.

It appears to have been designed primarily for new graduates and outside hires guided to apply specifically for a single prewired job. For federal employees who have worked many jobs for multiple agencies, the new site is the worst version yet for finding the widest selection of their best opportunities.

Furthermore, for anyone with a keyboarding or computer mouse movement disability, the new site requires many keystrokes and clicks that were previously unnecessary. Please, OPM, roll the site back at least 10 years; all that was needed then was a grade-specific search tool added and a link to a resume generator.

Thom Bouis


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