Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Senate Democrats call for investigation of climate scientist whistleblower complaint

Eight Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee asked the Interior Department's deputy inspector general on Monday to investigate Secretary Ryan Zinke's decision to reassign roughly 50 senior career officials last month, on the grounds that it could constitute an "abuse of authority." In the letter to Interior deputy inspector general Mary Kendall, obtained by The Washington Post, and signed by all but three of the panel's Democrats, the senators note that one of the reassigned Senior Executive Service officials – Joel Clement, the department's top climate change official – has alleged he was punished for his work on the issue. Clement, who was reassigned to the department's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, which collects royalty payments from oil, gas and mining firms, wrote an op-ed last week saying, "I believe I was retaliated against for speaking out publicly about the dangers that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities." "Any suggestion that the Department is reassigning SES employees to force them to resign, silence their voices, or to punish them for the conscientious performance of their public duties is extremely troubling and calls for the closest examination," wrote the senators, led by Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.), the top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The whole idea behind the Senior Executive Service, created by President Carter, was to create a cadre of professional top-level managers who would be capable of functioning in any executive position. It created a class of mandarins. In exchange for the pay and advancement that comes with being an SES, an executive could be reassigned at any time to any agency. Executive skills are universal, technical competency is not. American civil service seems to prize technical competence first and management competence second. Hence, as the Peter Principle explained, a person rises to their highest level of incompetence, that is, the level where their competencies (usually technical skills) equal their incompetencies (usually executive skills). If this self-described "scientist" wants to do science, then let him down-grade to a GS-14 or GS-15 position (with the punishment of making at least $120,000/yr).