A key official in the Department of Health and Human Services has stepped down, with a scathing letter of resignation that gives a sobering insider’s look at the department’s “secretive, autocratic and unaccountable” culture.
According to Science Insider, David Wright, director of the HHS Office or Research Integrity, is leaving his post after accusing the Kathleen Sebelius fiefdom of fostering an “intensely political” atmosphere, where a petty bureaucracy exists mainly to perpetuate itself, where decisions are made by “poorly informed” administrative supervisors and every employee is instructed constantly to “make the bosses look good.”
I knew coming into this job about the bureaucratic limitations of the federal government, but I had no idea how stifling it would be. What I was able to do in a day or two as an academic administrator takes weeks or months in the federal government …
The academic literature over the last twenty-five years on successful organizations highlights several characteristics: transparency, power-sharing or shared decision-making and accountability. If you invert these principles, you have an organization … which is secretive, autocratic and unaccountable …
This is not some functionary position. As director of the research integrity office, Wright was responsible for monitoring research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Public Health Services – which dole out millions of taxpayer dollars. Instead, he wrote, his job mainly consisted of “navigating the remarkably dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy” and getting permission from “poorly informed” administrators to actually do it.
We spend exorbitant amounts of time in meetings and in generating repetitive and often meaningless data and reports to make our precinct of the bureaucracy look productive.
Anybody who works in a large organization (or just reads “Dilbert”) knows what that looks like. And there was a time, in the days before Obamacare, when the resignation letter of a frustrated bureaucrat wouldn’t have been worthy of mention. But in the Kafkaesque, socialist world Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their Democrat henchmen have foisted on the United States, this actually matters. And, unlike “Dilbert,” it’s not a laughing matter.
Under the Obamacare administrative state, the HHS and Internal Revenue Service have assumed an unprecedented power over the lives of individual Americans. Wright’s letter lifts up the rock of the HHS to show that underneath it is a crawling pile of petty , maliciously inefficient world where appearances – or “optics” – mean much more than actual results.
“I’m offended as an American taxpayer that the federal bureaucracy — at least the part I’ve labored in — is so profoundly dysfunctional.”
In short, it’s about what you’d have expected in the Obama Era.
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