Friday, March 14, 2014

HHS Exec Quits; David Wright Overwhelmed by "Profoundly Dysfunctional” Bureaucracy

A Health and Human Services official has resigned after dealing with the frustration of the “profoundly dysfunctional” federal bureaucracy, which left him “offended as an American taxpayer.”

In a resignation letter obtained by ScienceInsider, David Wright, director of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) — which oversees and monitors possible research misconduct — offers a scathing rebuke of the unwieldy and inefficient bureaucracy that he dealt with for the two years he served in the position…

According to Wright, activities that in his capacity as an academic administrator that took a day or two, took weeks and months in the federal government.

He recalled an instance in which he could not get approval for a $35 cost to have cassette tapes converted into CDs. He eventually was able to get them converted in 20 minutes for free by a university. And another instance in which he “urgently needed to fill a vacancy,” but was told there was secret priority list. Sixteen months later, he wrote, the position was still unfilled.

“On another occasion I asked your deputy why you didn’t conduct an evaluation by the Op-Divs of the immediate office administrative services to try to improve them,” he wrote. ”She responded that that had been tried a few years ago and the results were so negative that no further evaluations have been conducted.”

“As for the rest, I’m offended as an American taxpayer that the federal bureaucracy — at least the part I’ve labored in — is so profoundly dysfunctional. I’m hardly the first person to have made that discovery, but I’m saddened by the fact that there is so little discussion, much less outrage, regarding the problem…

Read Caroline May’s full story here in The Daily Caller. And over here at Science Insider is the original story reported by Jocelyn Kaiser.