(PHOTO CREDIT: AP)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
In case you're not convinced our government is broken, consider this: A new study shows that almost 60% of government employees at all levels - federal, state and local - say they've seen violations of ethical standards, policies or laws at their workplaces in the last year. This includes everything from conflicts of interest, abusive behavior, altering documents and financial records to lying to employees, vendors or the public.
And apparently it's worse at the state and local levels. The nonprofit research group "Ethics Resource Center" found 63% of those at the local level witnessed at least one kind of misconduct. At the state level, it was 57%, and 52% at the federal level.
And it's going to get worse. The head of this group says it looks like we're headed toward more ethical misconduct in government in the future, not less.
They found that 30% of the incidents go unreported. One reason for that is some employees who reported misconduct said they experienced retaliation. Researchers also say there aren't enough systems in place to stop these problems once they're exposed.
The center says the answer to this problem is what it calls a "strong ethical culture." A lovely idea to be sure. But when you watch example after example of government dishonesty and abuse go uninvestigated and unpunished, what's the message? That it doesn't matter because no one will do anything about it anyway.
Here’s my question to you: Does it surprise you that almost 60% of government employees at all levels say they've seen ethics violations at work?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
I am one of those state employees who has witnessed such conduct. The more you speak up, the more you are isolated and retaliated against. I have six more years until I can retire, and if I won the lottery I would be out the door in a minute. This is a scandalous problem and it falls right in line with our need to shake up government status quo at all levels.
John from Carlsbad, California writes:
Jack, I am not surprised at all. None of these government employees have any accountability to us or to their superiors. The government as a whole needs accountability for not only ethics, but performance. This statistic shows me that government is completely broken.
Before we answer the question, let's get some perspective: What percentage of employees at non-government jobs see the same kind of dishonesty at work? No, I'm not surprised. I've seen abusive behavior of managers just while I'm standing in line at a store. The real question is how pervasive those things are in our culture, not just our government.
I am surprised that only 60% say they have seen ethics violations. I suspect the other 40% are lying.
No Jack, it does not surprise me at all. Our country has become so engulfed in lives of athletes and cele-Britneys that they have turned a blind eye to "boring" politics. They have let the government get away with what ever they want, and continue to re-elect them. Where's the incentive to do good? They have none and it does not surprise me.
Yes, it surprises me that more don't open their eyes and see the waste, fraud, and abuse. As an employee of a federal contractor for five years, I saw far more than I could stomach. From fraudulent accounting practices easily documented to overtly bigoted management. We get the government we deserve. We've gotten sewage.