Opinion

Federal Gov Should Come Clean On Its Staff, Spending

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

The U.S. government has 1.4 million federal employees at executive agencies, a modern day high with a $130.3 billion payroll that exceeds the 1.35 million employees in 2016.

Including civilian employees of the Department of Defense and U.S. Postal Service employees, that figure jumps to 2.8 million federal employees at a cost of $217 billion, $225 billion when adjusted for inflation, according to a new oversight report from OpenTheBooks, “Mapping the Swamp: A Study of the Administrative State (FY2020).”

That’s without the oodles of data that’s missing because the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has withheld payroll data from a dozen agencies.

When OPM supplied OpenTheBooks with federal payroll data from Freedom of Information requests, the agency lumped bonuses into total compensation with no way to delineate bonuses, harming transparency.

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Pension payments are exempt from Freedom of Information requests, and out of the 2.8 million pay records, there were 957,547 redacted names — more than one-third of all employees that were listed in the FOIA request.

Most of the redacted names — 698,547 — were civilian DOD employees. Also missing was adjusted basic pay, total compensation and 34,000 job titles, providing only basic pay data.

There were 259,000 redacted names among the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, and many other rank-and-file agencies. That’s significantly higher than the 3,500 redactions we saw in our 2016 report.

How can taxpayers know what they’re paying for with large tranches of missing data?

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

RealClearWire

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