Monday, August 24, 2009

Staffing the government

The New York Times reports that only 43% of the senior positions in the Obama administration have been filled.
Measuring the progress in appointments depends on what positions are counted and who is doing the counting. The White House Transition Project counts 543 policymaking jobs requiring Senate confirmation in four top executive ranks. As of last week, Mr. Obama had announced his selections for 319 of those positions, and the Senate had confirmed 236, or 43 percent of the top echelon of government. Other scholars have slightly different but similar tallies.
Much of the problem is the vetting process:
“Anyone who has gone through it or looked at this process will tell you thatevery administration it gets worse and it gets more cumbersome,” Mrs. Clinton said last month. “And some very good people, you know, just didn’t want to be vetted.” She added: “You have to hire lawyers, you have to hire accountants. I mean, it is ridiculous.”
Isn't there a lesson here, that trying to solve one problem with ever more regulation can create a new, more serious problem elsewhere?

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