The Low Rate of Firing Government Employees is Not a 'Positive Sign'

Government Executive: The Washington Post recently cited a U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board study that argued the low rate at which federal employees are fired for poor performance “could actually be a positive sign.”

The report by the agency that weighs federal employees’ disciplinary appeals contends that the number of employees removed for poor performance should not be used as a measure of an agency’s commitment to properly managing employee performance:

“If the agency is successful in preventing poor performance and addressing it when it does occur, removals would become unnecessary. In that way, a small number of performance-based removals could actually be a positive sign,” MSPB said.

“Of course, [a low firing rate] could also be indicative of an agency that fails to remove those in need of removal,” it added.

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