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Unhappy at FEMA?

The Partnership for Public Service has released its survey ranking the satisfaction of government employees. (The Partnership has all kinds of information about the survey here.) Also check out their Web site: bestplacestowork.org. Most news outlets, including FCW's story, focused on the fact that the Office of Management and Budget topped the list.

Slate.com has an interesting take headlined "Homeland Security's Lousy Morale," that looks at the bottom of the list.

Guess where the Department of Homeland Security ranks? It's number 29 out of 30. These are the people who are supposed to prevent the next 9/11 and who botched the New Orleans flood. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is folded into Homeland Security, and many people attribute its decline to that fact (though it's worth noting that in a similar survey conducted just before Homeland Security swallowed it up, FEMA ranked dead last). The only agency of the federal government with a more demoralized workforce than Homeland Security is the Small Business Administration, a notorious turkey farm that should have been abolished years ago.

Somewhat of an aside, I have to point to our story from this summer ranking the agencies with the best IT shops.

We still have the online poll asking whether FEMA should be separated from DHS. That survey found DHS hear the top. I'd be interested to hear more.

Meanwhile a new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll shows that Americans do not feel the country is ready for another crisis.

Katrina may have left the public feeling slightly more nervous about security at home. Fully 75 percent of Americans now say the U.S. isn't adequately prepared for a nuclear, biological or chemical attack, up from 66 percent who expressed that concern in 2002.

I haven't seen numbers yet, but I'm guessing that this has not helped with how people view their government -- at any level.

We are continuing to track this story because, as we say in our business, it has legs. Katrina rolled through a few weeks ago, but I think there are going to be ramifications for days, weeks, months, years ahead.

And we'll be watching the president tonight to see what he has to say.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Sep 15, 2005 at 12:15 PM


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