A federal watchdog report finds that nepotism is “widely accepted” within the Department of Energy despite Federal law against the practice, according to the Washington Post.
The report investigated an unnamed DOE senior manager who obtained department internships in 2012 for three of his college-age children. The manager, who served in the agency’s energy efficiency and renewable energy division, contacted several DOE colleagues to inquire about opportunities for his children, reports the newspaper.
One department changed its decision to not hire interns after the manager’s inquiry. Two of the officials who hired the manager’s children told investigators they did not feel pressured by the parent, the report said.
Public officials are prohibited by law from appointing, employing or even advocating for their relatives to work within their agencies. However, the investigators found that most DOE managers were unaware of the laws against nepotism. The investigators also found that advocating for the selection of relatives was fairly common.
The Office of Personnel Management has recently created the Pathways Program, requiring all applicants to apply for open jobs if they want to be considered for hiring.
“The Energy Department is committed to fair, open and transparent hiring processes that ensure every candidate is evaluated equally,” said an agency spokesman. “As recommended by the inspector general, the offices of the general counsel and the chief human capital officer are reviewing the information in the report as well as the circumstances surrounding these intern hires. The department will take appropriate action based on those findings.”
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