Friday, June 5, 2009

Social Security Regional Commissioner Responds to Nepotism Charge

Well, I wrote my Senator, Herb Kohl, and he contacted the Chicago Regional Commissioner, James Martin. Mr Martin sent me a letter in response to The Congressional inquiry. Not surprisingly, he states "I want to assure you that our recruitment methods fully comply with all Merit System principles". At the end of the paragraph he gets down to business telling me of all the different "hiring authorities" they have and says "Our managers determine which job announcements should be placed on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) public site:" (We already know that the answer is few if any at all).

In his second paragraph he discusses the position in LaCrosse filled by Ryan Kulinski, son of the Milwaukee Downtown Office manager. He explains how the aforementioned Federal Career Internship Program allows federal agencies to recruit "exceptional" candidates for a 2 year program of training and development assignments. I guess we should be comforted to know that most of the people hired by Social Security are so "exceptional". Certainly (in Mr. Martin's world)no average American off the street could be as "exceptional" as the friends and relatives of managers, so why let the average American know about these important jobs.

He goes on to mention that the managers of Social Security Offices go to "recruitment outreach events or activities" and develop by that method the pool of candidates from "members of the public". Going to job fairs excuses all questionable selections. Here is what really happens: The managers, wanting to get out of the office (why stay and manage), go to job fairs at colleges. They might even get a free lunch. Beforehand they tell the people whom they want to apply to go to the job fairs. They then take the resume's of the attendee's who want to be considered. They then toss those they have no interest in, and hire whomever they wish with no real oversight. That is democracy Mr. Martin style.

And so the nepotism and cronyism goes on. Agencies become more corrupted by this pernicious inbreeding and we all see service go down the toilet as favored government hires (exceptional in Martin's parlance)bask in their sixty thousand dollar a year jobs, while the average person's child, newly graduated, wonders why he or she can't get a job. Does Senator Kohl or any of our congressional representatives care enough to assure that any American can have a fair chance at employment in the Government? The answer, I fear, is probably not. At least we could save some of the taxpayers money by taking down the usajobs website, since it doesn't do what it purports to do.

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