Allegations the infamous Export-Import bank has been illegally killing applications for employment from veterans has led to a full investigation from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).
Internal Ex-Im documents show officials cleverly navigated around regulations to exclude veterans who were applying for IT positions, thereby apparently violating a law which states veterans should be considered first for open employment positions, Federal Times reports.
This preference mandate, listed under Title 5 and Title 38, can only be broken with one exception.
If the agency objects to the candidate, an examining office must run that objection through the wringer. Some objections which may hold include medical or suitability issues. The Office of Personnel Management must further approve the objection.
But instead of going through this process as mandated, Ex-Im officials appear to have dropped at least nine veteran applications for employment in favor of other non-veteran applicants.
The reason? The veterans were supposedly unqualified, but that claim was vigorously disputed by some Ex-Im staff members. Other employees wrote in emails to remove the veterans would constitute a clear violation of veteran preference employment mandates.
This internal dispute has caught the attention of the OSC, and although OSC said it could not comment on whether there’s an ongoing investigation into Ex-Im, documents provided to Federal Times indicate it is taking the emails very seriously.
Ex-Im, a seemingly obscure federal agency, has attracted a tremendous amount of scrutiny over the past year for providing loans to large foreign companies which use the funds to then buy products from major U.S. companies. For example, more than 65 percent of its loan program benefits Boeing, a gigantic aerospace company.
A projection from the Congressional Budget Office indicates that over a decade, taxpayers will be on the hook for $2 billion worth of losses run up by the bank.
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