Opinion, by Charles Paidock, April 28, 2018
Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW)
We Work for America, Everyday
Throughout the nation, at the federal, state, and local levels civil service employees serve daily in providing good government. Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), May 6-12, is a time set aside to recognize our men and women in government.
This diverse workforce consists of highly talented individuals with the responsibility to improve the lives of the American people. They ensure a clean environment, safeguard the food we eat, protect our communities from violence, stabilize and grow the economy, come to our rescue after disasters, teach our children, and in many other ways make our lives better.
The nation in particular is fortunate at this time to have a seasoned federal workforce in which I served and represent, to rely upon for day-to-day operations of the country.
The general public expects the government to be operated with some measure of formality, and compliance with uniform, fair and equitable standards. Lost in all the editorials and headlines are the activities of the federal employees in place who manage to get things done absent any consistent policy. Agency missions are being accomplished in accordance with current law, rule, and regulation.
As a reward for the service performed by federal employees, the President and Congress instead looks in the 2019 Budget proposals to cut their pay and diminish their retirement benefits, eliminate collective bargaining, and terminate them without notice or opportunity for appeal. Renewed efforts to outsource functions to the private section are being considered.
Mail is being delivered, passports are issued, laws are enforced, parks are open to visitors, etc., all is normal without direction from political appointees with little or no experience in their assigned areas. For all the attention given to Washington, eight-five percent (85%) of government operations take place outside of there.
Public safety and security, inherent functions of government, in no measure have been reduced or diminished.
In answer to those who seek to denounce civil service, the federal workforce, it should be noted, is not “under investigation” for any potential violations, although those who employees are expected to answer to presently are. Any federal employee who is the subject of an investigation normally has any administrative authority temporarily removed, with their projects re-assigned, or is placed on administrative leave.
Federal employees get their jobs, and advance in the ranks, through a process called merit staffing, and not through political favoritism, and have their performances rated and reviewed annually.
Situations like the one we currently find ourselves in only serve to demonstrate to the public the value of a having a core of experienced employees who are able to perform their functions with little or no direction.