A provision allowing faster firing of employees found guilty of sexual misconduct should be part of a larger civil service reform package that also makes it easier to reduce the size of the federal workforce, according to Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
The chairman of House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs plans to focus the panel he chairs on civil service reforms while a Republican is in the White House and there are GOP majorities in both chambers of Congress.
“I’m very excited we get to actually do the reform part of this,” he said.
Chaffetz wants agencies to better define sexual harassment and sexual assault to punish officials committing such behavior more quickly, Government Executive reported Tuesday. The oversight committee has held numerous hearings on federal officials who were unpunished or even promoted after committing sexual misconduct. (RELATED: The EPA PAID A Child Molester To Retire)
“Civil service reform is something I want to engage in, but it’s going to take some time,” Chaffetz said. Current laws provide “far too much leniency,” but it’s important to ensure good employees aren’t harmed in the reform process.
Chaffetz’s committee is also weighing ways to reduce the federal workforce, such as a requiring two or three employees’ departure before hiring a new worker. There are approximately 2.1 million federal employees now, not counting U.S. Postal Service workers who are not on the regular government payroll. (RELATED: House Makes It Easier To Cut Federal Salaries)
“There are a lot of good, quality workers, but there are too many of them,” he told reporters, adding that some agencies, such as the Secret Service, are understaffed.
The federal workforce could see bolstering in some areas, as well. Cyber experts, for example, may need pay increases, Chaffetz noted.
Chaffetz proposed changing federal workforce retirement plans. New federal officials would rely more on employee contributions with defined contributions from the government, rather than the current pension system.
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