Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) recently sent a letter to Office of Personnel Management director Katherine Archuleta requesting that the agency produce an official time report for fiscal year 2012.
The Congressmen are requesting the report to publicize how many hours federal employees spent conducting union business and pointed out in their letter that time spent on this activity comes at a cost to taxpayers.
“We believe that it is absolutely necessary to ensure that government employees spend their time serving the interests of their employers, namely, the American taxpayer. For this reason, we feel that it is imperative for Congress and the American public to have access to timely and accurate official time reports,” wrote the Congressmen.
According to OPM’s last official time report, roughly $155 million was spent by federal employees on official time. FedSmith.com authors Bob Gilson and Robert Dietrich discussed this report in two recent articles, noting that they were skeptical of the numbers in the report for various reasons. See Interesting Twists in OPM’s Official Time Report and Giving Federal Employee Unions Official Time to Lobby Congress.
While the Congressmen offered no opinion about the figures in the last report, they did state in their letter that the official time reports stopped for a short time a few years ago for no apparent reason and that OPM indicated at that time that it has no obligation to produce the reports. The Congressmen obviously disagree as they are requesting the report and want to see it by April 18.
The full text of the letter follows below.