Washington,
11
April
2018
|
06:00 AM
America/New_York

Interior’s Transfers of Senior Executives Reckless, Disruptive

Summary

Today the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Interior released its findings of the Reassignment of Senior Executives at the U.S. Department of Interior.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Gwen Dobbs, Defenders of Wildlife, 202-772-0269

Interior’s Transfers of Senior Executives Reckless, Disruptive

WASHINGTON (April 11, 2018) – Today the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Interior released its findings of the Reassignment of Senior Executives at the U.S. Department of Interior. The Inspector General found that the Department did not document its plan for transferring senior executives; that it did not gather the facts needed to make informed decisions about reassignments, including even reviewing the qualifications of the managers affected; that its purported reasons for making the transfers were not supported by the facts; and that it made no effort to communicate with these career civil servants before abruptly ordering them to take new assignments, and in some cases forcing them to uproot their families to move to new locations. In addition, the Inspector General found that the Department of the Interior had not complied with applicable guidance in taking this action.

Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO, Jamie Rappaport Clark, issued the following statement:

“The newly-released findings of the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General paint a devastating portrait of mismanagement and arrogance by Secretary Zinke and his political leadership team in abruptly and arbitrarily transferring senior professionals throughout the Department. The IG report confirms that the transfers of Senior Executive Service managers were poorly planned, badly communicated and created the impression among the affected staff that the decisions were politically motivated or punitive.

“The career staff of the Department of the Interior are indispensable stewards of America’s natural resources, imperiled wildlife, and federal lands. They deserve to be treated with respect and consideration, not abused by raw exercises of political power. Like Secretary Zinke’s misguided plans to reorganize the Department, the sudden and unexplained reassignment of these senior career executives disrupted the functioning of their agencies, undermined morale and distracted the Department from its vital mission. Our career civil servants deserve better.”

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