- Posted July 26, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Nepotism Alive and Well at DOJ
Noun: The practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, esp. by giving them jobs.
The US Department of Justice is charged with enforcement of federal laws. Yet, it seems that some in the DOJ think that laws do not apply to them. At least that was the finding of the Inspector General when it comes to the ban against nepotism. The IG found 7 cases of nepotism. But this is not the 1st time either the DOJ has been caught breaking the nepotism code.
The Justice Department’s inspector general found at least seven instances of federal employees engaging in illegal attempts to hire family members at the agency, according to a report issued Thursday.
The report is the third investigation in less than a decade that has found numerous examples of illegal hiring practices, amounting to nepotism, within the DOJ.
The IG’s report found seven examples of employees within the DOJ’s Justice Management Division (JMD) attempting to hire the family members of their fellow employees.
According to the IG’s report, in two separate instances a pair of employees, who worked in different sections of the DOJ, engaged in schemes to hire the other’s child. In another example, a DOJ employee tried to secure employment for his cousin and nephew.
The IG released two prior reports on nepotistic hiring practices in 2004 and again in 2008, in which they found that employees manipulated the DOJ’s hiring process to favor certain candidates.
In 2008, the IG recommended that the department conduct ethics training and establish a “zero-tolerance” policy for future attempts at illegal hiring.
In a memorandum issued earlier this week, Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus wrote the IG to say that he would strengthen and clarify training for employees, with particular attention on the agency’s nepotism rules.
Lofthus also said that by Friday his office would be implementing a three-prong set of disclosure forms that would require DOJ employees to disclose any family member who they are aware of applying for a job within the agency. It would also require any DOJ applicant to reveal a family member who works for the department.
Lofthus said, according to the IG report, the actions of illegal hiring were a result of intentionally “bad behavior” and not ignorance of the rules or a lack of training on the DOJ’s part.
“The OIG report concludes by saying most of the misconduct identified in the report did not stem from ignorance of the rules, but rather was the result of bad behavior by individuals insufficiently impressed with the principles of fair and open competition.”
From the Cornfield, following the 2008 finding, this should be a moot issue. One would think that the top law enforcement division of the US government would set an example of following the law.