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Feds reward 'bad apples' for sleeping, drinking on job

The Drug Enforcement Administration gives bonuses to agents punished for sex parties. The Social Security Administration’s litmus test is more diverse: Sleeping, drinking on the job and sexual harassment.

An audit by the Office of the Inspector General released Monday details $145,000 in bonuses doled out in 2013 to SSA employees punished or suspended for misconduct.

“SSA paid about $145,000 in monetary awards to 240 employees it disciplined for conduct issues,” according to the audit cited by the Washington Free Beacon Wednesday. “SSA reprimanded 126 (52.5 percent) employees, suspended 113 (47.1 percent), and demoted 1 (0.4 percent). The primary reasons SSA cited for the disciplinary actions included discourteous conduct, unauthorized access to SSA records, failure to follow SSA procedures, and misuse of Government credit cards.”

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Another 51 suspensions included offenses such as “possession of a weapon on site, sexual harassment, sleeping while on duty, consumption of alcohol on Federal property, and certifying false evidence resulting in the issuance of a Social Security number.”

The audit said that although SSA employees are required to be in good standing to be eligible for bonuses, there are “provisions of Union/Management contracts” that can take precedence for bargaining unit employees.

The agency defended its actions in the response section of OIG’s report, saying, “We appreciate your efforts in conducting this review and while we generally agree with the recommendations, neither our awards policy nor the Office of Personnel Management guidance prohibits giving an award to an employee who has been disciplined for conduct.”

The audit into SSA follows are similar investigation by OIG into DEA agents. Although personnel were disciplined for misconduct in March 2015, they still received bonuses and paid leave.

“Although none of the 14 individuals received promotions, we found that in 10 instances, 8 employees received bonuses, awards, or other favorable personnel actions, contrary to DEA policy,” OIG concluded, WND reported Oct. 22.

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“Rewarding bad apples promotes a toxic work environment,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government, Oct. 22. “It destroys morale and is a disservice to the majority of hard-working federal employees who play by the rules. It is a disgrace that taxpayer dollars are being wasted on those who violate our trust and abuse their positions. If we want a culture of excellence in the federal workforce, we must penalize bad behavior and reward merit.”