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The Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued its Audit Report dated November, 2015, entitled “Social Security Administration Employees with Conduct Issues Who Received Monetary Awards.” At first glance, all I could think was: “Huh?” So, I just had to read it to believe it.

As it turns out, SSA paid approximately $145K to 240 employees who had been disciplined for conduct issues ranging from discourteous conduct, unauthorized access to SSA records, failure to follow SSA procedures, and misuse of government credit cards and resulting in reprimands, suspensions, and demotions.

In general, SSA policy rewards employees with awards who are in “good standing.” Unfortunately, SSA defines “good standing” as receiving a performance rating evaluation of “performing successfully” and not based on any history of misconduct. Further, many awards are discretionary in nature (read “mandatory” under union-negotiated contract) and must be awarded to reprimanded employees or result in violation of union agreement.

Following review of this situation and issuing a comprehensive report, the Inspector General came to the conclusion that SSA “should consider revising its policy to limit management officials’ discretion to grant awards to employees with conduct problems” and create a database to track employee disciplinary history with awards policies.

Nothing like taking quick and decisive action over an obvious situation in need of address. This is our government at its finest.

Posted in Employees, Social Security, Social Security Administration, SSA | Tagged , , , , |


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