BBG Watch Commentary

Frustrated Employee

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and the Voice of America (VOA), BBG’s largest federal employer, have consolidated their last position among mid-size federal agencies in the Partnership for Public Service 2016 Rankings of Best Places to Work in the Federal Government®.

2016 Rankings from the independent and non-partisan Partnership for Public Service show that the BBG occupies the last place among 27 mid-size U.S. federal agencies. The agency is showing -0.6 drop in the overall rankings derived from three different questions in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS).

Only BBG’s federal employees participate in FEVS polling. BBG also has oversight over non-federal entities. BBG’s non-federal employees and hundreds of poorly-paid contractors who do critical government work but lack any protections and benefits, are not surveyed. It is believed that if BBG and VOA contract employees were included in the OPM employee morale surveys, BBG’s overall ranking would be much worse.

BBG’s federal employees rated their senior executives lower in leadership skills than they did the previous year. John Lansing become BBG CEO in September 2015, while Amanda Bennett became VOA director a few months later.

The two top agency executives both repeatedly praised their management teams as being “excellent.” Similar effusive praise for BBG’s top managers, past and present, was expressed recently by outgoing BBG board chairman Jeff Shell.