Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why an FS-02 rating another FS-02 is nuts

[T]he front office could inject itself more into the management, as opposed to the substantive work, of this combined political-economic section whose supervisor does not routinely pass along guidance or input from the front office. Also, the section head is the same rank as several of the officers he supervises and had been the designated rater prior to the OIG inspection. The OIG team noted to embassy management that it is an inherent conflict of interest for an FS-02 political cone officer to rate another political or economic officer of the same rank as they will be reviewed by the same promotion board. It is in the supervising FS-02’s interest to downplay the efforts and achievements of an officer of equal rank, especially a subordinate considered by others to be highly competent (DS-italics added). When the OIG team pointed out these problems to the Ambassador and DCM, they agreed to assume rating and reviewing responsibilities for the section’s three subordinate FS-O2 officers respectively.

OIG | Embassy Guatemala City, Guatemala (ISP-I-09-11A) Dec 08 | Note: this report became available online on 2/2010.  


RJS said...

This isn't surprising considering your average FSOs lack of management & leadership skills. The fact that these are POL surprises me even less.

Lee said...

There are a lot of crazy things in that report - just look at the management controls section. What has the front office been doing down there?

diplopundit said...

@RJS - There are officers who I think get what real leadership and management is. They may be a minority but they are around. We've seen this ones and we'd worked for them again in a heartbeat. There are also others who take the L&M mandatory training and check it off their boxes as they hurry up the ladder of success. We've seen this ones, too and say Gosh! Never again!

Leadership and management despite all good press is not yet part of State's institutional DNA. I don't know if it will ever get to a point when it will be. But just imagine what it was like before Colin Powell.

@Lee - you said it. I’ve always thought that the buck stops at the Front Office.