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FCW Insider: Absenteeism revisited

Sen. Coburn certainly knows how to get a community's attention.


As noted in this week's magazine (see the Buzz of the Week), Federal Computer Week has received numerous letters in response to a story about Coburn's report alleging excessive absenteeism among federal employees.


Readers, in turn, questioned the senator's math, analysis and, in some cases, his sanity. We can't speak for his mental state, but FCW readers do a sound job of undermining his conclusions.


And the feedback continues. In the past week, we have highlighted the letter we received from National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley and invited readers to post a comment on our letters blog. As might be expected, more vitriol ensued.


To be fair, though, it is worth noting that not everyone has a problem with Coburn's conclusions (whatever the merits of his math). Here is a sampling of the comments from those readers:


"As a fed with a boss who abused his leave, I can agree in principle that there is a problem that needs attention correctly targeted. This report, however, was a shotgun blast at government employees by a report made without standards and used to generate publicity for another government employee ( a senator) seeking to keep his job at others' expense. I'd like to know his attendance records."


"I know government is less productive because I work with federal employees every day. I see the absentee antics that will never show up in any report. Sure, there are highly productive federal employees. That 10 percent know exactly what I am talking about."


"Kelley’s righteous response would be less self-like if she had countered the senator’s analysis with some concrete data. The reputation of federal workers is much less widely accepted than she believes."

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Sep 04, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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