A Health and Human Services official is having a very public take-this-job-and-shove-it moment.
David Wright, the director of the federal agency's Office of Research
Integrity, sent a scathing resignation letter to his boss late last
month detailing -- with the precision of a seasoned researcher -- all
his reasons for quitting the federal government. The letter catalogued
the frustrations of getting minor expenses approved, of navigating
department politics and of spinning his wheels on producing "repetitive
and often meaningless data and reports to make our precinct of the
bureaucracy look productive."
"I'm offended as an American taxpayer that the federal bureaucracy --
at least the part I've labored in -- is so profoundly dysfunctional,"
Wright wrote to Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) Howard Koh.
"This has been at once the best and worst job I've ever had," he wrote,
reflecting fondly on his research work before launching into a tirade
over everything else he did -- namely "navigating the remarkably
dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy to secure resources and, yes, get
permission for ORI to serve the research community."
Wright recalled how, when he needed to "urgently" fill a vacancy, he
was told there was a "secret" priority list. But after 16 months, the
position was never filled anyway.
And he lamented how he was told by superiors to "make my bosses look good" and "lower my expectations" in government service. (Continues)