The idea of using high-paid technical staff to perform routine clerical tasks has proven a failure. Small agencies like Federal Transit Admiinistration (500) need to reconsider hiring professional secretaries (GS-04-07) to perform services including but not limited to answering general inquiries on the telephone, opening access-controlled doors/greeting visitors, copying/scanning, producing/staffing concurrences on consistently high quality correspondence and perform document control. Currently, GS-12-14 staff who are largely professional engineers, architects and community planners are performing clerical work inefficiently, and at unreasonably great expense to the taxpayers. We need to recognize and appreciate the value professional clerks can lend to our organization, not the least of which is freeing technical professionals to pursue technical work more effectively. Use of summer hires (except persons aspiring to careers as secretaries) for this purpose is counterproductive insofar as 1) we wish to provide young people with work that interests them and will encourage them to enter the transportation workforce and 2) we need fully-fledged, seasoned professionals who are well-qualified to do the work, understand the organization and provide continuity in a role that represents the agency to the public--not a green and temporary student aide who requires close supervision.
Idea No. 2680