Dear President Obama,
I did not vote for you nor did I vote for your Republican opponent. I am a Libertarian who has not voted for a Democrat or Republican in over twenty years. I am writing you today because on your first day in office you said that you were going to take steps, "that represent a clean break from business as usual" as the Chief Executive of the Federal government. You indicated the “lobbyists” are the ruining our democracy.
Sir, I am going to take you at your word today, and I am going to go out on a limb and reveal to you the dirty little secret that every single federal employee knows but won't say because they will be crushed by the most powerful force in the United States, Career Civil Service management bureaucrats. Career Civil Service management in virtually every Department and Agency of the federal government is the single most powerful, corrupt lobby in operating in the United States. Everyone agency has a full time lobbyist group, the so called “Congressional Relations Office”, that relentlessly lies to Congress to advance their selfish empire. The best interest of the government is NEVER a consideration of these lobbyists. The lobbyists exist to grow the budget and turf of each and every agency which exists to suck up more and more tax dollars, each and every budget year. Have you ever head or a single agency returning a single penny to the Treasury? If never happens.
On the other hand, the Federal government contains millions of rank and file non management career civil servants who want to serve the people of the United States. These workers are trained and ready to work as dedicated public servants doing the jobs they were hired to perform. Standing between these trained, patriotic hard working civil servants and the American people are Career Civil Service managers who control the entire system. The vast majority of federal managers currently in place sold out their integrity to become share holders in the Lobby of Shame that manipulates Congress and controls the operation of the federal government.
The United States desperately needs integrity and honesty in our civil servants. Our country is in the most perilous of all times. Federal employees need to be men and women of integrity and honor above all else. When I started working for the federal government as a GS/2 clerk in 1976, integrity and honestly was the trademark of federal employment. Through most of my career, I carried credentials, which stated that I was, "worthy of trust and confidence". But in 2003 when thousands of Department of Treasury and Justice employees were transferred in mass to the Department of Homeland Security, they were issued new credentials that no longer stated they were "worthy of trust and confidence".
The collapse of the United States financial system is directly tied to the incompetence and political corruption which is the core of federal management. The rank and file workers within the federal bureaucracy are prevented from carrying out their duties on a daily basis by current career management. Federal employees who refuse to "go along to get along" (‘filers’) are instantly crushed by the full force of the management machine. The first thing a new federal employee learns is to sit down and shut up and never think out of the box. Original thinking is strongly discouraged. NO act of whistle blowing will go unpunished.
Mr. President, don't take my word for the current state of affairs within the federal government bureaucracy. I volunteer to sit down in a room across the hall from a typical manager, John Chakwin, a SES with the ICE Office of Investigations in Dallas, Texas. Hook both of us up to a polygraph and the truth will be revealed in less than an hour. Mr. Chakwin was promoted to the SES right after your election as President. During the vetting process, over 75% of the agents who responded to an ICE generated, anonymous survey gave Mr. Chakwin a failing grade as GS/15 Special Agent in Charge. Yes, over 3/4 of Mr. Chakwin's employees gave him an "F" and said that office morale was unacceptably low. By the way, the same group reported that they did not expect ANY improvement under Mr. Chakwin's leadership. However, Mr. Chakwin was promoted in spite of his dismal performance and even more dismal EEO record.
In addition, two of Mr. Chakwin’s sons were hired as ICE special agents by Marcy Foreman, the agency Director, as a favor to Mr. Chakwin. This is the same Director Foreman who promoted her own sister in the SAC/New York office. According to numerous sources, the promotion was made after an internal investigation found financial improprieties in a project managed by her sister. Prior to the creation of the Department of Homeland of Security, nepotism like this was never acceptable in the federal service. Now it is routine. The Inspector General’s and Offices of Professional Responsibility are universally known inside the government as tools of federal management.
"Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day." -Frances Hesselbein