Entries in waste (3)

Tuesday
Apr122011

Government Waste Fraud & Mismanagement is #1 Problem

Competition in the private sector is a good for consumers and business.  Competition in government is bad for consumers and taxpayers. The only people in the U.S. that benefit from competition between government agencies are the bureaucrats who work for the government.

Federal government employees are among the highest paid workers in the United States now.  Journeymen FBI agents and the criminal investigators at over 75 federal law enforcement agencies earn well over $100,000 a year.  Most drive GOVs or government issued vehicles to and from work at taxpayer expense.  I dont believe these fine men and women are overpaid.  But I do believe we are paying way too many of them.

I worked as a special agent for a number of federal agencies from 1976-2008.  In 1976 U.S. Customs employed less than 500 special agents.  The journeyman grade was GS-12.  INS employed even fewer criminal investigators and the journeyman grade was GS-11. Agents had to compete to be promoted to higher grades. Supervisors were GS-12 or GS-13 and most Special Agents in Charge were GS-14. 

Today Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which replaced Customs and INS Office of Investigations) employs almost eight times as many special agents (7,000+).  The journeyman grade level is GS-13 with 25% premium pay or LEAP.  A GS-13 step 10 in Dallas makes almost $140,000 a year. 

In 1987 the Dallas Customs Office of Investigations employed 12 journeyman agents and one resident agent in charge.  The journeyman agents were GS-12 or below and the RAC was a GS-13.  Today the same office under ICE/HSI employs over 120 journeyman agents, supervised by an SES Special Agent in Charge (SAC), a GS-15 Deputy Special Agent in Charge (DSAC), six Assistant Special Agents in Charge (ASAC), and a dozen GS-14 Group Supervisors. 

During the same 25 year time period the FBI, Secret Service, ATF, DEA, Postal Inspection Service and dozens of other IG offices and lesser known federal law enforcement and investigative agencies like the Fish and Wildlife Service, FDA, BIS, NCIS, DCIS, IRS(you get the idea).  Half of these agencies did not even exist 25 years ago.

As remarkable as this growth is, its even more remarkable that government agencies compete among themselves for both business and tax dollars.  For years agents referred to the War on Drugs as the fierce competition among agencies for seizures and arrests of the same targets or suspects.  But one day enterprising bureaucrat in Washington D.C. had a big picture idea.  Instead of fighting each other for cases, lets join together and we can all claim the same indictments, arrests, seizures etc.  Thus the joint press release was born and the big money and positions starting pouring in to each and every agency.

Of course all the agencies continued to fight for more funding and appropriations than their new found ally.  But for every arrest or seizure dozens of agencies are using the same event!  U.S. Attorneys Offices devote a full paragraph of every press release to listing all the agencies involved in every prosecution.  Sometimes it takes two paragraphs!

This practice costs tax payers BILLIONS of dollars.  Each of these agencies, departments, bureaus, and offices sucks up millions and sometimes billions of federal dollars.  The Department of Homeland Security alone has a budget of almost $60 billion dollars.  75% of what DHS does duplicates what another agency has been doing for years.

DHS is a monster created by Congress eight years go. That monster must be fed and money is its daily diet.  Billions of dollars in property and infrastructure are needed to support a newly created federal Department.  The bigger the government gets, the bigger the grades get.  Customs inspectors, now CBP officers went from a GS-9 journeyman grade to a GS-12 in less than 20 years.  I was hired as a GS-2 FBI clerk in 1976.  Today the lowest entry level you will find in the government is GS-5.

This is not just a federal law enforcement agency problem.  There is duplication of government jurisdiction throughout the federal bureaucracy.  The Wall Street Journal today has a front page story on the competition between the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department.  Multiply this turf war by hundreds to get an idea of the inefficiency of government operations and the cost to both the taxpayer and the service consumers.

You never hear Congressional outrage about government turf battles and duplicate jurisdictions and missions among hundreds of agencies and Departments. Duplication of government services, jurisdictional squabbles, grade creep and out of control bureaucratic growth are responsible for the current $14+ trillion dollar federal deficit.  Yet, you never see or hear about this issue in the media. Its always about Medicare and Social Security.  The waste and fraud in the Department of Defense alone cost more than the $39 billion dollar budget cut recently agreed to by both Parties of waste.

Duplication of government services, cross jurisdiction and turf battles are not being addressed. The problem grows worse by the day as Congress continues to create new agencies. The bottom line is that WASTE, FRAUD AND MISMANAGEMENT within the federal government cost taxpayers TRILLIONS of dollars.

Friday
Mar042011

EVS, the "Ever Vindictive Sheepdog" Steps in his own Shit

My friend Debbie Schlussel, dropped a bombshell  a couple of hours ago.  Almost a month ago, ICE agents began tipping DS off that ICE Director of Intelligence James M. Woosley (not to be confused with the former CIA Director James M. Woolsey, a good guy) was suddenly removed from his position.

Debbie writes that , I wish I’d posted something about it, but I couldn’t get anyone to talk beyond that it was regarding some alleged fraud, and I needed more information.  I probably should have posted it as a question, as today, the net is filled with the story of a probe into Woosley.  He apparently helped his Palestinian Jordanian Muslim intelligence analyst, Ahmed Adil Abdallat, submit falsified and bogus travel expenses in exchange for a cut of the cash.  The greedy Woosley was already making more than $200,000 a year in travel and benefits, including a government car.  But I guess that wasn’t enough, so it’s better to sell out America and help Abdallat rip-off American taxpayers (that’s what Muslims call, “halal money,” or permitted money ‘cuz it’s great to rip off infidels).  Yup, it’s better to help this Muslim employee launder the money to his fellow Palestinians to fund who knows what terrorist attacks.

Debbie also  reportsI am told that Ebbley a/k/a Mr. Silliman then hired another ICE intelligence unit buddy to be his number two in Bay St. Louis, a past frequent commenter on this site, “EverVigilantSheepdog/EVS,” who outed himself as Kyle Barnette, when another ICE agent figured him out.

Debbie does an excellent job on her blog every single day.  She has hundreds of thousands of regular readers all over the world.  If yourre not one of them, you need to be.  Make sure you go to her site often, because she posts new and interesting stories throughout the day and night!

I know that many regular readers of this site are very familiar with the infamous Kyle Barnette, aka Ever Vigilant Sheepdog, aka EVS. I have posted a response concerning EVS on her site

Tuesday
Jan182011

⍟ Feds Ride the Gravy Train from Work to Home ⍟

It’s a federal retirement plan that’s even better than the official federal retirement plan, a taxpayer-funded program for disabled government workers. But it’s a gravy train that could be brought to an abrupt halt very soon.

The program, the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act [FECA], which the government launched in 1916, is supposed to cover lost wages for federal employees who suffer on-the-job injuries.

But many federal workers stay on the program for decades, well into their retirement. Those federal workers on disability can get nearly 75% of their salary tax-free for the rest of their life if they have one dependent, with annual cost of living adjustments.

Federal workers now make over 30% more than their counterparts in the private sector.  The greatest cost associated with most agencies is salaries and benefits. Over the years I watched what is called "grade creep" increase the pay of federal workers.

An agency would review the duties of a class of employees, justify to OPM that the grade should be increased and their pay would go up. The increased pay grade of employees would influence a higher grade for managers. If an agency had a similar type of employee paid more than at another agency eventually someone would find out and seek to match that pay level.

There is often a lot of creative writing about the "increased complexity" of employee duties and the actual percentage of time spent doing them. I observed this during thirty year federal employment .  The primary motive for upgrading non management employees was to increase the grade levels of the management positions.

The federal bureaucracy is at least 30% over staffed. Now is the time for Congress to get serious about reducing the federal work force with an across the board hiring freeze. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be retiring in the next five years.  STOP THE HIRING NOW.