Home Commentary and Analysis Members of Congress Who Fail to Meet Required Goals Should Lose Their Jobs
Members of Congress Who Fail to Meet Required Goals Should Lose Their Jobs

Members of Congress Who Fail to Meet Required Goals Should Lose Their Jobs

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Note: The opinions and comments stated in the following article, and views expressed by any contributor to In Homeland Security, do not represent the views of American Military University, American Public University System, its management or employees.

By James Lint
Senior Editor for
 InCyberDefense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

If you do not meet company goals in your annual job evaluation, you will not get that expected pay raise. Similarly, if you are a service member, you also have to meet certain standards in either a Non-Commissioned Officer Evaluation Report (NCOER) or an Officer Evaluation Report (OER). In both cases, exceeding standard performance is expected.

Federal government contractors must also meet standards outlined in their government contracts. Contractors that do not meet those requirements could lose money, future contracts and even their businesses. Also, a company that fails to meet the standards in its government contract might be charged with fraud.

In business, each division must adhere to the goals and standards of the company. That is how an organization succeeds.

Job Performance Standards Don’t Seem to Count in Congress

Meeting standards matters for success in business and life. Congress, however, is an exception.

The federal government operates on a fiscal year that begins on October 1 and ends the following September 30. Every President submits an annual budget request in February, according to Title III of the Congressional Budget Act. That calendar allows newly elected members of Congress to participate in the budget process their first year in office.

congress budget

Source: House Budget Committee

The House is expected to complete action on an annual appropriation bill by the following June 30. Sadly, year after year, Congress fails to meet its own standards.

More Motivation Is Necessary for Congress to Meet Its Own Standards

Members of Congress often pay no penalty for ignoring their own standards and requirements. Americans, however, continue to re-elect their Representatives and Senators, even when those members of Congress do not perform successfully in Washington.

Jessie Bur, writing in Federal Times, says, “Congress has been so unmotivated to pass on-time appropriations that, in the past 40 years, only four annual appropriations have been passed without the involvement of a continuing resolution first, according to Heather Krause, director of strategic issues at the Government Accountability Office.”

CEOs Are Held to Job Performance Standards, So Why Not Members of Congress?

In business, company owners and shareholders hold their leadership responsible for meeting goals. When toymaker Mattel’s global sales fell seven percent in 2014, CEO Bryan Stockton was terminated. When McDonald’s sales dipped dramatically in 2015, CEO Don Thompson retired after 25 years at the company. Standards do matter.

You have the right to fire those in Congress who do not meet their goals or standards. That is called voting. I hope to see you at the polls in November.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 49th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. In 2017, he was appointed to the position of Adjutant for The American Legion, China Post 1. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book published in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017 Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”

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