Senator Carper Responds to Annual “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” Survey

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, reacted to the annual “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” rankings released by the Partnership for Public Service. Each year, the Partnership for Public Service releases federal agency rankings based on surveys conducted by hundreds of thousands of federal workers. This year, the report shows that overall employee morale increased for the first time in four years; however, the Department of Homeland Security remains at the bottom of the list among large agencies.

“For the past several years, federal employees have borne undue costs as a result of the partisan gridlock in Washington,” said Sen. Carper. “From pay freezes to short-sighted budget cuts to government shutdowns, federal employees have at best felt unappreciated and at worst under siege. This is not the way to inspire or motivate a workforce. And this is not the way to attract and retain the best and brightest to serve their country.

“Like turning an aircraft carrier, improving morale at our federal agencies will take time. The results of this report show that we have begun to right this ship but there is much more to be done. Congress must stop using federal budgets and federal employees to make a political point. We must work together across party lines to make the federal government a better, more attractive place to work and that starts with providing adequate levels of funding to federal agencies under regular order.

“While this report shows that overall morale has improved across the federal government, I was disheartened to see that employee morale at the Department of Homeland Security remains the lowest among major federal agencies. Though considering we began 2015 with a fight over whether or not we should even fund the Department, I can’t say I’m surprised. That is why I have gone down to the Senate floor on several occasions to highlight some of the extraordinary work being done every day by the brave men and women at the Department of Homeland Security. 

“The Department also continues to struggle to build a sense of cohesion across its many offices. That’s why Congressional support of the consolidated headquarters at St. Elizabeth’s is so important. This project will not only save taxpayer dollars but will improve coordination and communication across the Department. I know Secretary Johnson and his leadership team are taking significant steps to make the Department a better place to work for current and future employees. I urge my colleagues to support the agency in its effort.”