Monday, July 9, 2007

Our Safety vs Open Positions: Department Of Homeland Security

I just ran across this article at The Washington Post by Spencer S. Hsu titled, "Job Vacancies At DHS Said To Hurt U.S. Preparadness", and of course it really caught my attention.

As an HR Professional and American I wanted to hear how open positions, job satisfaction, and turnover at the Department of Homeland Security could impact or affect how prepared we are for a terrorist or other attack.

Below are some quotes from the article that sum up the three main areas of concern that any HR pro and American should have...

Open Positions:
"The Bush administration has failed to fill roughly a quarter of the top leadership posts at the Department of Homeland Security, creating a "gaping hole" in the nation's preparedness for a terrorist attack or other threat, according to a congressional report to be released today.

As of May 1, Homeland Security had 138 vacancies among its top 575 positions, with the greatest voids reported in its policy, legal and intelligence sections, as well as in immigration agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Coast Guard. The vacant slots include presidential, senior executive and other high-level appointments, according to the report by the majority staff of the House Homeland Security Committee."

Job Satisfaction:
"Homeland Security employees reported the lowest job satisfaction among 36 federal agencies in a January survey by the OPM. The average tenure of the Secret Service director has dropped from 10 years during the past century to less than three years since 1992, and the agency has had three directors since it was moved into the DHS."

"The department faces high turnover because top officials are in demand in a private sector willing to pay lucrative salaries. It is heavily dependent on contractors, yet its staff to manage them is overstretched. Partisan political combat over homeland security issues has also made jobs less attractive."

I won't get political but will have to say that after reading this article I am somewhat concerned. I know there are a lot of "agendas" driving some of the "facts" that were presented in this article but we should all due our homework regarding this and other related articles and stories about the Department of Homeland Security and our safety.

I know that I'll be keeping a close eye to this story and I hope you will as well...

Enjoy the post and be sure to dig through the links...


Zarifa said...

Interesting to know.