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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Agencies stock up on scientists with superpay -- By Phillip Swarts, The Washington Times

The normal federal worker can’t earn a salary of more than $130,000 a year under the civil service system, but Uncle Sam has been hiring an increasing number of scientists, medical researchers and doctors at salaries double that amount under a special program to attract better private-sector talent.

The sudden salary splurge has federal watchdogs alarmed that a program that was supposed to be reserved for rare circumstances is being abused to hire thousands of people at salaries that can near the earnings of the president of the United States.

The Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, has said it is concerned that the Department of Health and Human Services has a “lack of complete data and guidance” to govern the increased hiring of high-dollar researchers. Such workers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rose by 81 percent from 2006 to 2010, the GAO noted.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general announced an investigation this week into why highly paid employees lacked ethical guidelines and were allowed to own stock in companies affected by their federal research.

HHS has 7,000 to 8,000 superpaid workers under the Title 42 program. The EPA now has 23 hires, even though the original law made no mention that the agency could use the program. Some of the workers were brought in at annual salaries as high as $350,000, though the limit was dropped recently to $250,000 for most.

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