Every new Administration appoints new top officials who come into the Agency – knowing little about what we do or how things work in the Government. Each Agency has a “Secretary” appointed, and then several “Under Secretaries” and many more “Deputy Under Secretaries” along with appointed “State Directors”. They take it upon themselves to turn the Agency upside down with their version of a restructure plan, making it very difficult for career employees to do the job required. They create added expenses with their special assistants who guide them; do their clerical work and take their pictures with Senators, etc.
Travel funds used by these political people are many times a waste of money. They travel here and there, making short appearances at an event to have their picture taken, with the intension of bettering their political position down the road – not with the agency mission in mind; because they know they will be out in a few years anyway. Appointees make expensive trips for ribbon cuttings (taking credit for what career employees have accomplished); to DC for training (a career employee should be trained), travel to retreats and meetings (which could be done by phone); and eat up the Agency’s travel budget which should be being used for required servicing efforts on new and/or existing projects.
The priority should be to train and keep good employees, for the betterment of the Agency. Employees should be given the budget and the tools to complete the mission, not have travel funds going to an individual working for the betterment of themselves and their political partner’s agenda.
Obviously this suggestion will not be very popular with the White House, but when lay-offs begin, keep in mind they should be from the top down, not the bottom up. It is the employees on the bottom that accomplish the mission of the agency, not the political appointees with their enormous salaries, huge travel budgets and personal agendas.