Holding federal employees accountable is essentially impossible. They have the highest job security of any sector of the economy. In fact, out of a federal non-military workforce of 2.1 million, only 11,046 persons—or 0.5 percent—were fired in 2017.
One reason for this is the cumbersome process managers must endure to fire a single employee. Multiple appeals involving as many as four separate agencies, as well as union representatives, are not uncommon. This process can last years even in the most cut-and-dry cases.
Faced with such obstacles, federal managers often let misconduct go unaddressed.
But two bills moving through Congress now would make it much easier for federal managers to take action when an employee is simply not getting the job done. The Modern Employment Reform, Improvement, and Transformation (MERIT) Act and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) Reauthorization Act would strip away several layers of red tape that insulate federal employees from accountability.
How 2 Bills Would Fix the Problem