Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 20, 1975 · Page 120
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July 20, 1975

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 120

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, July 20, 1975
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Page 120
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Page 120 article text (OCR)

by Robert Walters WASHINGTON, D.C. W hile Henry A. Kissinger is busy trying to resolve the world's troubles, serious problems affecting his State Department employees in Washington go uncorrected. A secret government study, prepared earlier this year by the U.S. Civil Service Commission, accused the State Department of "serious management neglect needlessly high personnel costs... and significant violations of the basic Civil Service rules and regulations." Rep. John E. Moss (D., Calif.), who uncovered the suppressed document, says it "shows that a series of demoralizing personnel abuses prevail in one of the most important agencies in government." Adds Moss: "A pattern has emerged showing that few federal agencies have escaped this syndrome." That charge is supported by newly disclosed information that shows abuse in scores of federal departments, agencies and bureaus in Washington and across the country. Keep a secret But for more than a quarter century, the public has been denied access to official government reports that tell of incompetence, overstaffing, maladmin- istration, violations of employee rights and illegal patronage operations. For example, the report on the State Department offers this picture: · Nine out of 10 promotions appar- . ently are "in substantial violation" of the government's merit system requirements. Employees trying to move up run into arbitrary policies and murky standards on promotions. · As many as 1300 Civil Service employees in the department receive a higher salary than they deserve. One survey showed that nearly 70 per cent of all foreign service secretaries are paid too much for the work they perform. · At one message center there are three bosses to oversee six employees. In one branch of the department's Passport Office, 19 workers are watched by six supervisors. · Despite the department's repeated public commitment to equal employment opportunity, only 6.2 per cent of all Foreign Service Officers are minority group members. Women fare somewhat better, with 25.4 per cent, but most of them are in low-level support positions. · A policy of seldom looking outside the State Department for talented Rep./ohn MossrHe uncovered confident/a/ report showing personnel abuses, wasted money at the State Department. people has kept many retiring officials on the payroll as "consultants" because of the department's apparent "inability to find qualified replacements." The Civil Service Commission has conducted hundreds of other investigations similar to the State Department probe it completed in January. Last year, for example, the commission uncovered a "special referral unit" at the Department of Housing and Urban Development which : maintained - secret files on 1300 men and women who either held or were applying for HUD jobs. The unit checked on the political affiliations of applicants for and employees in ostensibly nonpolitical Civil Service jobs. Those designated as political loyalists were given preference. A similar illegal scheme was discovered at the General Services Administration. Access forbidden Despite these findings, the public has been told virtually nothing about the investigations, conducted by the Civil Service Commission's Bureau of Personnel Management Evaluation. Workers at the investigated agencies, representatives of government employee unions, lawyers and a host of others have been routinely and firmly denied the reports although pressure to make them public has mounted recently. Informal requests, written demands citing the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and even lawsuits have been spumed by the Civil Service Commission, whose chairman, Robert H. Hampton, argues that "making our reports public could frequently constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy," The secrecy soon may end, however, because of two important recent developments. The first is a lawsuit alleging that Bernard Rosen, executive director of the Civil Service Commission, has acted illegally in refusing to make the reports public. Court action The court initially backed keeping the papers secret but an appeals court sent the case back to the first court, which ruled late last year that all of the material in the reports must be made public, with the exception of references to individual government employees and the Civil Service Commission's recommendations for improvements in the way other government agencies handletheir employees. That decision is still being appealed, and the government has not released the documents. The second development involves Moss, one of the most influential members of the House. Throughout Richard M. Nixon's tenure as President, Moss charges, "the Civil Service Commission remained inactive rather than choosing to. vigorously challenge White House- orchestrated patronage abuses designed to make our career Civil Service politically responsive to the President's wishes." Now, Moss has-mounted a campaign to make public the reports of the alleged corruption, although the government is dragging its feet. But the time is rapidly approaching when the material will be released to the public--and then the taxpayers will discover that some of their worst fears about inefficiency, incompetence and corruption within the federal bureaucracy are true. PROMOTE EQUAL PEOPLE International Women* Year is a United Nations Program. 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' Numzident C/v/7 Service chief Robert Hampton : He has fought to keep quiet government studies of corruption and waste. Stop the torture of Problem Itching · Dry Skin Itching · Personal Itching · Insect Bites · Chafing · Rashes Now get fast, long-lasting relief from all kinds of itching, even embarrassing personal membrane itch with LANACAKE Medicated Crerne. You see. itching.«««. s =TM tt * m |: which causes more '" h ««- 1T n«*s *"« Doctors recognize as the "itch-scratch-itch cycle." LANACANE works because it breaks this cycle. IANACANE relieves itching, soothes irritation, checks bacteria growth, helps speed healing. For trial sample, send 25f to L\NACANE. Box 328 PD. White Plains. N.Y. 10602. Also try LANACANE SPRAY for relief of skin in pain from | sunburn, itching. even day hurts.

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