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Many FBI Employees Believe Higher Ranking Members Get Preferential Treatment When it Comes to Discipline

fbi1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — When it comes to discipline, are higher-ranking members of the FBI likely to get better treatment than lower ranking ones?

A Department of Justice Inspector General report released Monday concluded that many employees thought so.

“We found that a significant percentage of FBI employees we surveyed believed that there was a double standard of discipline in the FBI for higher-and lower ranking employees,” the Inspector General report said.

“Our review of FBI disciplinary decisions found that allegations of misconduct were much more likely to be unsubstantiated against SES (senior executive service) employees than non-SES employees.”

More specifically, the report said of 717 employees who answered the question, 33 percent felt there was a double standard; 11 percent disagreed and the remainder had a neutral response or “didn’t know.”

On the upside,  the report said it that aspects of the FBI disciplinary process worked well.

In response, the FBI issued a press release saying it had addressed all 16 recommendations in the report. It also brushed off perceptions of a double standard for discipline for higher and lower ranking employees, saying evidence pointed to the contrary.

The FBI statement said the report pointed out that only 11 to 15 percent of the FBI workers believed they would be treated unfairly in the discipline process, and that high ranking employers (senior executive service employees) were three times more likely “to be the subject of an investigation than the” non-senior service employees.

“Overall we are encouraged to learn that the majority of our employees surveyed believe they would be treated fairly and objectively if they were the subject of a misconduct investigation that went to the OPR (Office of Professional Responsibility) for a discipline decision and appeal,” the FBI statement said.

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