tv Washington Journal Max Stier CSPAN February 3, 2018 2:09am-2:41am EST
>> what does the president's role for filling federal positions? how does it work? >> we have a crazy system. no other democracy on this planet has anything close to it. has 4000dent appointees that they can make. those, we identified about 630 that we see as the most fundamental jobs in running the u.s. government. these folks are chosen by the president. the senate has to confirm that. i think the system has to change. unfortunately this administration is well behind what any prior administration has done.
>> max diner is the. let's have a look at those numbers. we have 635 on our graphic as requiring senate confirmation. 239 have no nominee at this point. five awaiting nomination. margin 46 have been formally nominated. that is roughly 400 positions that have not been filled. how come? >> it begins at the very beginning. it is an incredible left to take over the united states government. it is the most complex organization on the planet, and probably in history.
you must recognize the pre-work you have to do in order to be an effective president. this organization actually did start well. governor christie was removed after the election and by and large what he created was ignored. this administration got behind real fast and did not have the infrastructure in place. it is crazy what you have to go through in order to be confirmed. of those, what are the top jobs that are not filled at this point? >> they are across the board if you look at the administration. right now we don't have a nominee for ambassador to south korea. obviously a critical hotspot. we are missing a census director.
you look across the board, there is not an agency that is not missing on the mental talent. there are people in those jobs theyting capacities, but are not fundamentally equipped to do those jobs as effectively as we need them to do, because they're not confirmed by the senate. bring up this piece we found in the washington post today. he served as acting secretary of 12 days last year. do choose to respond to is that although the total number of employees has not diminished significantly from a year ago, the department has suffered a brain a train of experience and respected diplomats. others made clear they were pushed out or resigned as they
did not support the trump administration. your reaction? it is sad. obviously the state department plays a fundamentally critical role in protecting us as a country and managing the relationships we have the rest of the world. the data shows that, in fact, morale is down. the survey was from april to june of last year, and while overall government numbers went up, state department numbers went down. and they would doubt expressly around senior leaders. it is challenging to look at the data. there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest the state department is seeing a real brain drain. large, it is an agency
that is in trouble. >> do you have a sense of what the administration's rod plant is at this point? this point?n is at the challenge, i think, is that is deep of one of the patriots showing up at the super a quarternly having of their offensive line and half of the defense of line not on the field. there is no question that they have been nominating folks. part of the responsibility lies with the senate. they need to do more and do it fast. >> lets your from brad in minnesota. your first. cracks good morning. i know he is kind of a young man, but that is ok.
i just want to ask one question. what is the world going to out thatwhen they find we have political moles? youf i can start by saying are the first person to describe me as a young man and a very long time and that put a smile on my face. it is very interesting. there has been a lot of attention paid to the question of burrowing. again, i want to be clear, i think there are way too many political appointees who then take on career positions. there is a pretty substantial effort made to make sure that is tracked very carefully. the government accountability office does a review of all this. at the end of the date the numbers are tiny compared to the full workforce.
one of the things i think is important to recognize is, by vast workforce are people that are civil servants. they are there because they want to help the american public. if you look at the data and compare it to the private sector, there are all kinds of places where the government workforce is below the private sector. where they exceed the private sector is in their commitment to missions. they're willing to go the extra mile because they care about what they are doing. the examples are tiny relative to the vast workforce. only 6% of the workforce is under the age of 30. it is not a healthy workforce in terms of bringing new talent in. >> susan in arizona you are up now.
>> good morning. are you specifying about the fbi or the workforce in the white house, or congress, which one? >> we will take questions on any of this. >> iron ridge us in a political part of the government? >> yes, the fbi. i have family members in the fbi in different states. this embarrassing for the ones that are doing good for the ones that are doing bad. i think the memo should come out. susan, let me jump in and mentioned that we are talking more specifically about openings in the workforce with federal the fact that a
lot of administration positions have not been filled yet. anything you want to say about that? it is so hard to get them to be filled. it took almost three to four to actuallyomebody pass the test, the background test, the help test. there is so much, and a lot of people don't pass it. right.are entirely it is a real challenge for the federal workforce. there are approximately 2 million career show so servants, and that is not including the postal service. a lot of times people say the workforce is topsy-turvy. not so. it is actually pretty steady. i think the callers is entirely
correct. unfortunately, it can take beyond a year. note, thereightly are a lot of folks that can't wait that long. one area of the federal government has to change in is how we process. >> explain a little more about why it might take just four months, or a year, what goes into that timeframe? >> there are some similarities. part of it begins with the process, which is incredibly difficult. there is a lot of information that is required. in many ways the federal government adopts processes that are unique to it rather than standard process in the private sector. big difference, however, are
things like security clearances where there is a massive blog. that can be a huge hindrance in getting talent for a lot of different jobs. biggest role in making changes to the process? >> it is a combination, but the reality is that the biggest load belongs on the executive branch. the rules need to be modernized. govern the rules that how the executive branch manages talent are 70 or more years old. in pay system was designed 1949. most of it really belongs on the part of political leadership. >> back to your calls. we are looking for federal
employees who would like to call in. hello, then. >> good morning. let me start by saying that i really appreciate the effort of what you are doing. concerns with a couple of points you made this morning. i have been in federal government since 1999. i'm a veteran military officer. number one, regarding persons in an acting capacity. you acquainted them to a substitute teacher. that is simply not accurate in my opinion. i believe most government people they can beu effective in that role. it has much more to do with the
individual than with any limitations as virtue of it being acting. capacity?ame as full no. but plenty of them can be fully functional in those roles. that was the first issue. the second one has to do with the difficulties in filling those positions. there is thatsay i truly believe that this administration has been handicapped by the response from the agencies. spent the majority of my career in the intelligence community. i left deliberately because of whatpoliticizing nation of we were working on. so fed up with the actions of appointees from the obama administration that i would not work in that environment anymore. absolutely, that
isre is a deep state that delivered late undermining this administration. you said something about numbers of people, talking about burrowing in, and that it was not a lot of people. the problem is that the overwhelming majority of federal employees follow the rules, and they will not raise an issue unless it is so obvious, as otherwise they know they will be the ones who are taken to task for raising a complaint. they stand to lose so much more from complaining. go,ben.oing to let you
>> i will begin with the first issue you raised, which is the substitute teacher. i think we have more agreement the disagreement here. inhink the people who are these acting roles are better qualified to do those jobs than the majority of the political appointees who come from the outside and do not know the environments they need to operate in. though, is that everyone of those acting individuals would say they would , inetter off if they were fact, the name to send confirmed by the senate. you say some of them are in office for years and years. that is correct, but they do not know that. they don't know if they're going to be there for three months, nine months, one year, or two years. to makenot going decisions with the expectation that they're going to see them through. fromill they be perceived
-- by others around them that they have that long-term leadership. that theyo question would be way better off if they were merely placed. the second point talked about is the difficulty of filling the jobs. what i would say to you is that i personally think that the ,hole notion of the deep state there are certainly people who do not do their jobs well. and i bet youity, think this as well, are actually there to follow the lead of the political leaders. they understand that their job is to do what the president is directing them to do. they may have differences of view, but there sworn to uphold the constitution.
of the united states has a responsibility to create an effective leadership team. the third point is very powerful and important. your question about whether people raise problems. mentionedvey i earlier there is a question that raise a you able to violation of law or ethics without fear of retaliation? i think this is a critical any organization, and clearly for a public sector one. if you look at the obama administration and the , thisnges they had question is actually fundamental to the problem they had.
a big organization, somewhere somebody is going to do something stupid. the question you raised his what does the rest of the culture do? identify that problem or sit on their hands and it gets worse? if you don't have a healthy culture people do not raise that problem to leadership. by and large, federal workers do not believe there is an environment where there are safe to raise problems. and that is a big problem. leaders should hold themselves accountable to creating that environment. only about one third of the workforce say they can raise a violation of ethics. the overall average is only 60%, which is more than 15 points lower than the private sector. that is a problem.
>> we go to our next call. agenciesee the larger at the top of the list. where can folks read this chart? .bestplacestowork.org. a lot of folks talk about running the government like a business, but you cannot. the government is fundamentally different. measuring performance is more challenging. not impossible, but more challenging. in a knowledge-based world, the engagement of your employees is the most important element of success, and that is what this actually rates. >> gina, thank you for waiting. good morning. >> good morning. the caller from virginia said that there is a deep state that
is trying to undermine president trump. just the opposite. that was a real propaganda call. this is what i see. many a mistake is made on purpose. when you have this authoritarian government that so many generals running around in the white isse, they're going to do downplay or diminish the departments they find unnecessary. they're going to focus on what they want. what this administration wants is provocation in the middle the, especially claiming capital of israel. trying to destroy the nuclear deal which took years to get going. it is very obvious what they are trying to do. defense,tment of general mattis, says he wants more diplomats and less bullets.
no, it is just the opposite. >> i entirely subscribe to the notion that the idea of deep state is actually counterproductive and not accurate in terms of describing what is going on. americans should understand that they are blessed with a phenomenal government. it will not stay that way if we do not invest in it. is of the challenges you see calls for resistance. that is the reason why you serve. have is ahat we mission oriented workforce that is trying to do their best by the american public. the system they are operating in. nation want to stay at the top of the world, we need to make sure we are taking care of our government in an effective way.
this notion that the generals is part of the problem. if you look at our military, they have in many ways the most .ffective talent operation certainly way more effective than the circuit -- civilian side. they look at their people as an asset. unfortunately, on the civilian side, most false look like talent as a cost. we need to see it as an asset if we want a government to deliver the way we want. grexit read on to watch president trump for just a moment at the state of the union adjusts on tuesday. here is what he had to say about federal employees. >> last year congress passed, and i signed, the landmark accountability act. [applause]
since its passage, my administration has already 1000 500 ba than employees who fails to give our veterans the care they deserve. peoplehiring talented who love our veterans as much as we do. [applause] and i will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey. [applause] all americans deserve accountability and respect.
and that is what we are giving to our wonderful heroes, our veterans. thank you. [applause] so tonight i call on congress to secretaryery cabinet with the authority to reward good workers, and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust and failed the american people. [applause] >> your thoughts on the president's message? the most important thing the president said is towards the end when he said i want to cabinet secretary to award good employees and get rid of the bad ones. the focus has been on getting rid of the bad ones. we will never have the government we want if all we do is focus on firing them faster. you have to create a upside.
people do not do it because they know they are at risk if they do and there is no benefit. >> one more call. basil from ohio, welcome to the program. you.ank i think this subject is probably the most important issue we face in our government today. this president is a visionary. he has been in everything he has accomplished. he sees the solutions not the problem. when a person wants to cleanse the products they are going to eat, they wash it through a sieve. we are going to the top and cleaning house themselves to make it a better running government, a more honest government. this president talks about the american public.
concern.is main it has to start with who is running this government that it affects lives of the american public. this president is a visionary. sees solutions and does not get worried about the problems. we know the problem, it is the solutions we are after. i think we are going to see more and more of that coming to fruition as time goes on. by the middle of this year the american public is going to recognize that this man is talking to the american public, not to the political system. god bless him and god bless america. i hope we continue to grow and i think we will. at 87 euro man and this is the most promising future i see for this country. god bless our military. >> final thoughts from our guest. >> congratulations on 87 years. i think what the caller said the folks on the
inside to be leading the changes that need to take place is incredibly right and fundamental. have a workforce that is hindered by way too much process inside. we need those political leaders in place. it is true with any organization that folks on the front line at no best. we have not access that energy and talent as fully as we should. coming back to that mission commitment, it is powerful given the right support. been max.st has thanks a lot for your time. >> thank you. >> c-span's washington journal live every day. morning, this saturday
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