HUD barely fires anyone, despite job performance

If you're looking for job security, HUD may be the place to be, according to data from the Office of Personnel Management.

If you're looking for job security, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may be the place to be. According to data from the Office of Personnel Management, HUD only fired six staff members out of its 7,400 tenured employees this year, compared to nine in 2013 and 28 in 2012. HUD has the lowest termination rate compared to other federal government agencies.

On the other hand, one in every 69 civilian employees in the Army during the last six years were given the boot. At the U.S. Department of Treasury, managers used probationary periods to let go one in every 37 new hires. 

Obviously, the low termination rate is an indication of HUD's exceptional management ability, right? Not necessarily, according to The Washington Examiner.

A former senior official in the Bush administration told the media outlet the variation in firing levels among federal agencies has more to do with how tolerant managers are of poor performers than with misconduct being rampant at agencies with higher termination levels.

“The managers who undertake this firing process are ones who need to be awarded. This is about having employees who are capable of recognizing poor performance and taking action,” he told The Examiner. Still involved with labor policy, the interviewee spoke to the media outlet on the condition of anonymity.

In October, HUD loan specialist Brian Thompson pleaded guilty to stealing $843,000 of taxpayer money in a wire-fraud scheme. A program analyst at HUD, J'Vaughn Hawkins, spent three hours a day on an unrelated business tasks, including arranging strippers' appointments, while an auditor, Deona Madden, ran a trucking business from her desk, according to the Washington Times. Surprisingly, HUD didn't fire the two employees.

Click here to read The Washington Examiner's full story on employment at federal agencies.