A Health and Human Services official has resigned in disgust from his job monitoring research misconduct because of his frustration with the federal bureaucracy.

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A Health and Human Services (HHS) official has resigned in disgust from his job monitoring research misconduct because of his frustration with the federal bureaucracy.

His resignation letter is brutal.

“[M]y role as ORI Director has been the very worst job I have ever had and it occupies up to 65% of my time,” he wrote. ”That part of the job is spent navigating the remarkably dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy to secure resources and, yes, get permission for ORI to serve the research community. I knew coming into this job about the bureaucratic limitations of the federal government, but I had no idea how stifling it would be.” According to Wright, activities that in his capacity as an academic administrator that took a day or two, took weeks and months in the federal government.

He then recounts some examples, such the inability to get approval to spend $35 and the inability to hire someone because there was “a secret priority list.”

But hey, don’t worry, we know that HHS will do so much better running the healthcare industry.



  • Claire Shickora

    Gee, welcome to the world of government employees – state as well as federal! I began my career in IT with the State of NJ and left in disgust (politics, bureaucracy, idiocy, nepotism, etc…) after only one year, only to return twenty-five later after retiring from an exciting and fulfilling career in private industry. The second time I lasted five years; nothing had changed and I was embarrassed to associated with the clowns running the project on which I acted as a technical liaison. I am amazed that anything ever gets accomplished and that there is any measure of success in government endeavors.

  • PeterF

    I recently completed an online course titled “introduction to homeland security” because the local community college is offering certificates in homeland and maritime security. (Textbook; Introduction to Homeland Security by Bullock, Haddow, and Coppola) These courses would have a tie-in with my current job. The introductory course explored the history and general structure of this incredibly large and complicated bureaucracy. Before I started this course, I thought that I had a general knowledge of this department’s mission. Needless to say, I was shocked at the scope and reach of this newest branch of the federal government. It is intimately involved with every part of modern society. It has had so many reorganizations and reformations that its hard to keep track of it all. I rather doubt that anyone, especially the previous secretary (Janet Napolitano) has a complete knowledge of its many facets today. The duplication of functions exposed by this general overview course throughout this organization indicates massive opportunities for waste and abuse. I can imagine that HHS is as complex and impenetrable as DHS, and I can understand the frustration of David Wright.

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