If the government works for us (I can’t type that with a straight face) don’t we have a right to know what we’re paying them? From Adam Andrzejewski at theburningplatform.com:
The only thing the bureaucratic resistance hates more than President Trump is the disclosure of their own salaries. It’s a classic case of the bureaucracy protecting the bureaucracy, underscoring the resistance faced by the new administration.
Recently, Open the Books filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (pictured) for all federal employee names, titles, agencies, salaries, and bonus information.
We’ve captured and posted online this data for the past 11 years. For the first time, we found missing information throughout the federal payroll disclosures. Here’s a sample of what we discovered from the FY2017 records:
- 254,839 federal salaries were redacted in the federal civil service payroll (just 3,416 salaries were redacted in FY2016).
- 68 federal departments redacted salaries. Even small agencies like the National Transportation Services Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation redacted millions of dollars in salaries.
- $20 billion in estimated payroll now lacks transparency.
- A 7,360 percent increase in opacity hides one out of every five federal salaries.
Who’s the bureaucrat in charge? Not a Trump appointee – the president doesn’t even have a current nominee at OPM. So, the buck stops with new acting Director Kathleen McGettigan, a 25-year staffer who assumed the position because she was the next in line, not because the White House appointed her.
Trump has the power to replace her at any time. This lack of transparency is apparently a result of the president’s failure to appoint his people to executive positions. Trump knows controlling the human resource department is key to managing the federal bureaucracy. In fact, Trump forecast this type of institutional resistance in his inaugural address.
“The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories.… And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here and right now.”
The decision to redact 255,000 federal salaries for $20 billion in payroll harms oversight. The American people deserve to know who makes how much, in what position, employed by which agency.