Federal Gov Should Come Clean On Its Staff, Spending

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

U.S. government employs 1.4million federal workers in executive agencies. That’s a record with an annual payroll of $130.3 Billion, which is more than the 1.35 Million employees in 2016.

Inclusion of civilian personnel of the Department of Defense (U.S. Postal Service employees, that figure jumps to 2.8 million federal employees at a cost of $217 billion, $225 billion when adjusted for inflation, according to a new oversight report from OpenTheBooks, “Mapping the Swamp: A Study of the Administrative State (FY2020).”

That’s without the oodles of data that’s missing because the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has withheld payroll data from a dozen agencies.

OPM gave OpenTheBooks federal payroll data obtained from Freedom of Information Requests. OPM lumped bonuses into total pay, but it didn’t have the ability to clearly delineate them.

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Pension payments are exempt from Freedom of Information requests, and out of the 2.8 million pay records, there were 957,547 redacted names — more than one-third of all employees that were listed in the FOIA request.

Most of the redacted names — 698,547 — were civilian DOD employees. Not included were adjusted basic pay and total compensation. 34,000 job titles are also not listed. These provide only basic data.

Between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service there were 259,000 redacted identities. That’s significantly higher than the 3,500 redactions we saw in our 2016 report.

How can taxpayers know what they’re paying for with large tranches of missing data?

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