Friday, March 14, 2014

Scientific Integrity Not Really a High Priority at HHS

HHS official told to "lower expectations" pens a caustic resignation letter
For two years, David Wright ran the Office of Research Integrity, responsible for reviewing any misconduct in research projects. But Wright, in a letter obtained and published by ScienceInsider, said the role was “the very worst job I have ever had” the majority of the time.

Wright describes his inability to obtain approval to spend $35 to convert old cassette tapes to CDs. He tried to fill a vacancy in his office, but an HHS deputy secretary said there was a secret priority list and couldn't tell him where his open job fell.
As infuriating a crap like that is, a lot of federal workers (and non federal workers for that matter) would just buy the damn thing and suck up the costs.  Lots of teachers outfit their rooms with their own money.  My guess is that if he bought it himself, he could get repaid out of petty cash, no questions asked.
Wright asserts in the letter, addressed to Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh, that government officials care more about their own advancement than the public good:

“Since I’ve been here I’ve been advised by my superiors that I had ‘to make my bosses look good.’ I’ve been admonished: ‘Dave, you are a visionary leader but what we need here are team players.’ Recently, I was advised that if I wanted to be happy in government service, I had to ‘lower my expectations.’ The one thing no one in OASH [Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health] leadership has said to me in two years is ‘how can we help ORI better serve the research community?’ Not once.”

Wright alleges in the letter that Koh himself described his office as operating in an “intensely political environment.”
Now that's the Federal government I know and love, rewarding suckupage!

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