If your son or daughter can’t find a a job this summer there is a sure-fire way to get one…have someone in the Energy Department adopt them. In a 19 page report by Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman At least a dozen children or other relatives of Energy Department officials have received summer jobs at the department in apparent violation of federal nepotism rules
One senior Energy Department manage was able to get summer jobs for all three of his kids including two who ended up getting jobs in the division where the official works.
“Nepotism or even its appearance can have a decidedly negative impact on morale within an organization,” Friedman wrote in a 19-page report.
The unnamed official contacted 12 other department officials on behalf of the college-age children, including a high-level personnel officer, and two were hired in his office. The third was hired by the Office of the Chief Information Officer after a number of calls by the official. The office had not planned to hire interns that year but reversed course before it hired the relative.
Providing inappropriate advantages for relatives of federal employees “damages the integrity of the competitive process and erodes public trust in the federal hiring process,” Friedman added. “The impact is likely severe, especially when considering the intense competition for (summer) intern positions within the department.”
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Despite those strong words, Friedman’s own office was not immune from the problem. Among those who got summer jobs was the child of an employee in the inspector general’s office, which Friedman called a “serious” matter. The employee has been reprimanded.
Friedman’s report, released Monday, says that each case involving employment of relatives has been referred to the Energy Department’s personnel office and general counsel. The counsel serves as the department’s ethics officer.
A senior official in the renewable energy division told investigators that he did not believe he had done anything wrong, the report said. The official indicated that, “based on his personal observations, the practice of employees providing resumes and/or inquiring about employment for a (summer) position on behalf of relatives was common,” the report said.
Two officials who hired the senior employee’s children told investigators they did not feel pressured by the official. The officials also indicated that it was “a common practice for individuals to provide resumes or to inquire with various program offices in an effort to secure (summer) employment opportunities for relatives,” the report said. The officials said they did not believe there was a violation of nepotism rules unless the summer worker reported directly to their relative.
There seems to be a lot of that lately, federal bureaucrats making egregious errors and believing they did nothing wrong.