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State Department provides obscure job performance study analysis to justify dismissal of inspector generals

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The House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing was part of a broader inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the fall of Linicks in the spring. Panel Democrats have said Linick was fired because he was considering Pompeo 2019 emergency declaration to approve $ 8 billion in arms sales to Persian Gulf countries while bypassing Congress and allegations that Pompeo used government aides to carry out tasks personal. Pompeo has denied the allegations.

Brian Bulatao, a Pompeo adviser and confidant, said in his opening statement that nothing could be further from the truth, arguing that Linick could not have been fired because of the investigation because Pompeo was never informed of their details.

This removal had to do with an IG which in my mind was falling further and further away from expectations, he added.

Bulatao testified that responses to the Federal Employees Management Office’s annual Employee Survey raised big red flags about morale in the Linicks office, which he said had fallen into three main categories: employee engagement, employee satisfaction, and involvement. of diversity. Bulatao also said Linicks office had experienced a double-digit decline since 2016 in employee satisfaction measurements.

Bulatao also highlighted three questions from the 71-point survey to illustrate his assertions about the inspector general’s office: health and safety risks at work, potential safety threats, and whether employees felt their work was important.

Bulatao’s explanation is the most complete reasoning anyone in the Trump administration has provided to date for why the president fired Linick, one of five inspectors general fired over a six-week period this year.

But an analysis of the government survey compiled by the Public Service Partnership found that the Office of Inspectors General performed better when it came to questions about whether employees were satisfied with their work and organization and whether they would recommend that office as a place. good to work

In 2019, the Linicks office posted a score of 67.6, based on those measures, which were compiled in the Public Utility Partnership ranking of the best places to work in the federal government. This made it the third best performing bureau, behind only the Foreign Service Institute and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

While this represented a decline of 2.6 from a year earlier, its performance from year to year was better than the Office of the Secretary, which scored significantly less than any other of the 24 sub-constituent offices in the State Department that appear in the rankings. The Pompeo office scored 41.6 in questions related to satisfaction in the 2019 poll sharing a drop of 8.9 from a year ago.

Bulatao also accused that inspections were reduced during Linicks last year in office, and that he was late in submitting an internal audit and failed to update the department about diversity inclusion training in his office, senior officials told of the department that these are not our core values.

According to the compilation of the best jobs, the answers of the government survey, the Office of the Inspector General had the second highest score of diversity in the State Department 71.2, a slight improvement compared to last year, while the office of Pompeos came last again, with a score of 46.5.

Also speaking at the hearing were R. Clarke Cooper, Assistant Secretary for Political and Military Affairs, and Marik String, departments acting as legal counsel.

Linick declined to comment Wednesday. State Department spokesmen did not return a request for comment when asked to explain how Bulatao reached his conclusions.

During Wednesday’s session, Democrats did not directly challenge the metrics presented by Bulatao to support his cause, but Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) Opposed the idea of ​​dismissing Linick if morale was low.

If people are going to get fired because of low morale, it starts at the top, he said, referring to Pompeo.

But panel Republicans defend the decision to expel Linick.

The only mistake the president made in firing Steve Linick was that he did not do it sooner, said Rep Scott Perry (R-Pa.).

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