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Hice: Restoring accountability to civil service
Bill to make it easier to fire poor-performing federal employees advances
Hice and Johnston
U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, left, R-Ga., speaks with Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston during a luncheon at Oxford College of Emory University on Friday, March 2, 2018. - photo by David Clemons

WASHINGTON – Since I’ve been in Congress, it’s been a mission of mine to root out waste, fraud, and abuse wherever it occurs in our federal government – which is no small feat.

Unfortunately, most people who have dealt – in any way – with the government know two things: progress is slow and the red tape is never-ending. This pattern is deeply ingrained at nearly every level of every agency in an almost systematic way. Simply put, inefficiency is running rampant.

Serving as vice chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations has given me the opportunity to see firsthand just how much of our government’s time, energy and money is wasted. What’s worse, in many cases, these agencies don’t even have the ability to quickly or easily fire employees who aren’t effectively doing their jobs. Managers with problematic employees, whether because of misconduct or poor performance, must navigate exhausting and time-consuming hurdles to address those deficiencies.

In fact, it takes an average of a year and a half to fire a poorly performing federal employee. This is yet another example of the bloated and unproductive bureaucracy inherent to the federal government. As anyone who has worked in the private sector knows, the ability to hire and fire is critical to ensuring the overall mission of the organization is being executed.

Because of this widespread problem, I introduced House Resolution 6391, the Merit Systems Protection Board Reauthorization Act.

The MSPB is an independent agency within the executive branch that oversees the management and appeals of its nearly two million employees. My bill will reauthorize this important program and implement some desperately needed reforms to expedite the appeals process, restrict the number of frivolous appeals, and reinforce justified personnel actions. Furthermore, HR 6391 strengthens protections for whistleblowers and those who root out government misconduct.

I’m very proud to say that, just this past week, my bill was reported favorably out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee by a vote of 20-12. This is another simple step in the right direction as we work toward turning around the current trajectory of our government and implementing the civil service reforms called for by President Donald Trump. Little by little, we are making headway to streamline, simplify, and modernize the ineffective practices of our government.

Jody Hice, a Republican from Greensboro, represents Georgia’s 10th District in Congress. Online: