Over the past three years, the Obama administration paid 57,000 workers to stay at home while they were investigated for alleged wrongdoing, reports The Washington Post. About 53,000 workers were put on what is known as administrative leave for one to three months, while 4,000 did no work for three months to a year or more. The figures come from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, which is attempting to track such data for the first time.
The Post reports that the bloated amount of administrative leave, which amounted to $775 million in salary, is a product of massive bureaucratic inefficiency and abuse:
The Office of Personnel Management rule book lists dozens of reasons for allowing paid leave, such as donating an organ, house-hunting before a job transfer, and attending the funeral of a relative in the military. Snow days also are permitted.
But these require only a few hours or days — not the months and years that GAO discovered are common at more than 100 federal agencies including the Defense and Treasury departments.
"It's not authorized by any law," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), referring to the cases that drag on. "Bureaucrats are abusing it." [The Washington Post]