DECEMBER 08, 2008
Top officials at a U.S. government agency with a history of mismanagement and dismal employee morale have received hefty cash awards for “outstanding leadership” and “extraordinary accomplishment.”
The prestigious honor (Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Awards) supposedly recognizes a small group of career government employees who are strong leaders that consistently demonstrate integrity and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service. Winners get a coveted framed certificate signed by the president and 20% of their annual salary as a bonus.
It’s preposterous to even imagine that three top executives in the Pentagon Inspector General’s office could receive the accolade that, in their case, includes a $30,000 bonus for each. Located near the Pentagon in Arlington Virginia, the inspector general’s office has about 1,500 employees and its mission is to investigate waste, fraud and abuse at the gigantic Department of Defense, which has an annual budget of about $600 billion.
But the agency has been rocked by mismanagement and personnel problems that certainly make the large cash awards of those running it unfathomable. Through the Freedom of Information Act a national news outlet obtained nominating forms for the three crowned officials and all include glowing performances. One is described as a master communicator who mentors his employees even though a recent employee survey revealed a disillusioned work force in his department.
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