Whose problem are you fixing?


A few years ago, while I was in Hot Springs, a member of the city council expressed that he wanted to fire an employee of the city’s street department, because he (the councilman) had seen a city truck parked at a grocery story one afternoon.
The idea died for lack of a second after it was pointed out to the councilman that it was not their job to micromanage a department. They agreed to speak to the department head and have him explain that further issues would be dealt with more harshly.
Or something like that.
I was reminded of this obscure incident this week, when we got an email from Senator Thune’s office, trumpeting the passage of the “Restoring Accountability in the Indian Health Service Act of 2017.”
This landmark legislation was needed, the press release stated, due to “a lack of oversight, financial integrity, and employee accountability at the IHS,” and its passage would “increase agency transparency and accountability, improve patient care standards, and strengthen the recruitment and retention of qualified medical staff.”
All of this sounds just wonderful, right? I mean, accountability, transparency, improved standards - those are all pretty popular buzzwords aren’t they?
But I pondered why the “Restoring Accountability in the Indian Health Service Act of 2017,” was needed.
I mean, if the person in charge was doing his or her job, it should be common sense that things would work as they were supposed to, correct?
If you keep progressing up the federal hiring tree, some committee somewhere hired all of the managers, administrators and other irreplaceable bureucrats that could have - and frankly should have - made sure that the “Restoring Accountability in the Indian Health Service Act of 2017,” was unneccesary. It should have been done via the standard of common sense.
My point is that Congress, by hiring the head guy, ultimately must be held accountable for all the others.
And like most things, the passage of legislation won’t fix things. No matter how much Senator Thune wants it to do so.

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