A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that 99.6 percent of government workers are ranked “fully successful” or better in job assessments.
The exact breakdown is as follows: 33.1 percent of workers were ranked as “outstanding”, 27.4 percent were ranked as “exceeds fully successful”, and 38.8 percent were ranked as “fully successful.”
The analysis, which looked at nearly 1.2 million government employees, specifically excluding Senior Executive Service (SES) members, paints a promising picture for the work habits of employees.
The Washington Post, however, points out that such figures seem unrealistic, and thus call into question the rigor of the evaluations.
Furthermore, it downplays the work done by the truly outstanding employees, while diminishing the deficiencies of those who may not perform quite as well. It also highlights the concerns of critics who claim that the government needs to better emphasize employee accountability.
To substantiate these claims, a federal survey of non-SES employees found that only 30.8 percent of respondents agreed with the prompt, “In my work unit, differences in performance are recognized in a meaningful way.”
It is also believed that the lack of a standard, objective system amongst different government agencies and departments for evaluating employees has contributed to this issue.
The entire civil service sector is in flux, with certain departments such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, affected more than others.