Let’s talk about metrics for a minute. If the whole point of all of this is “national security” then why are we hounded to complete as many items as humanely possible in the shortest amount of time? And why are private companies paid for completing more work in less time? I understand that metrics help limit lazy or unproductive investigators but that is now how they are being used industry wide.
It seems like a complete contradiction to always try and emphasize the importance of this work when clearly these companies are only out to make as much money as possible. Personally I feel there shouldn’t be any contractors involved with this process at all, it should only be worked by the government. Thoughts?
It’s important work, but in the scope of things it’s not really that important. If it were really that important we would be allowed to carry a weapon, any type of self defense mechanism and given greater access to facilities. Metrics just provide an incentive for investigators and investigations not to stall and to keep things moving forward so we don’t get bogged down in a backlog. There is so little day to day oversight on this job I understand the need for metrics.
It’s all very much about the numbers and the contract companies’ bottom dollar.
It isn’t really about creating a good job for you or national security - that part is smoke and mirrors and makes us feel good.
It’s all about the money. If you don’t meet the metrics, thats just more money someone else can keep in there pocket when you don’t get a raise. I have heard in review that while our metrics require us to review like 8 cases a day and maintain damn near perfect quality, the customer only has to review about 4 a day, and mind you by the time they get it the case has already been cleaned up by the us.
Contractors shouldn’t be hired because they are metrics driven vs aiming for quality? We definitely ask and cover way more questions and disclaim to high heaven irrelevant issues in the ROI, much of which won’t matter in the least bit when it comes down to adjudication. But that’s how contracting agencies work, they promise the world just to win the contract.
It’s interesting because as a contractor, I’ve been contacted numerous times by fed investigators obtaining my testimony as a source and Oh boy let me tell you the corners these particular fed investigators cut! I had one fed investigator that wrote maybe 7 words max on a blank sheet of paper - not even within the lines, which I gather were my statements to his source questions. Another fed investigator got halfway through the education questions and finally said, “you know what questions we ask, you can just tell me what is relevant.” Perhaps because they’re not metrics driven?
Seems like contractors and fed investigators even out the field.
Feds do meet metrics, but they are pretty reasonable especially since our admin and other tasks time does not count towards the "work week’.
I have worked both sides of the field.
My manager uses an excel spreadsheet for our metrics and I have hard time trusting that it is always accurate. I usually double check if something seems off.
I would not trust a spreadsheet maintained by a supervisor to be very accurate either.
The practice of “padding stats” has been around since before the privatization of the Investigative Fieldwork (FIPS Program) by OPM under the Clinton Administration in the 1990’s, specifically 1996 was “privatization.”
If you do not work as a Government Employee for DCSA (GG/GS) on this Contract or whatever Federal Agency holds the Contract in the moment, then your “statistics” and “performance metrics” are almost double that of a Federal Employee. There isn’t a Contract Company out there that will value quality over quantity, National Security over greed, there’s money to be made and Investors like Veritas Capital (who purchased Peraton in 2021)…are here to make money & lots of it, especially when these “bids” are now in the billions with consecutive contract years being awarded (not to mention the additional “enhancement” contracts.)
“Padding stats”…for anyone newer or not sure of the term, means you work more hours than what you actually report and document in an effort to meet the unrealistic performance stats that increase with each Investigator level/position. Stats decide whether you get demoted or promoted or fired.
In my opinion, it leads to a disservice amongst Investigators only. By having to subtract actual working hours which you are not even paid for, Investigators actually raise the unrealistic performance bar indicating that these ridiculous performance levels can actually be achieved in a 40 hour work week when in reality…no matter how good of an Investigator you are, you cannot meet these objectives without compromising the work itself. Also low-level Managers certainly do not care how or what you do to meet these performance metrics (unless they are being questioned from above,) they are judged and evaluated the exact same as you and paid a low salary and wage as well.
What are the performance metrics of a contractor? Are they EMH metrics or something else. Interesting to see the difference.
That depends on the classification “Level” of each Investigator. It’s driven by daily sources and records. That information is extracted and broken into not just daily stats but weekly and monthly as well for each Investigator.
*I’ll let an Investigator working for one of the Contract Companies who is currently subject to those performance stats explain in more detail. Also, maybe there is an Investigator who will share their experience getting demoted to a lower level Investigator (cut in pay with that too) for not meeting “performance metrics” or even being terminated by one of the Contract Companies.
You or any other Investigator can also share the stats as a Federal Employee working for DCSA. I recall being shocked when I heard how low the metrics were for DCSA as well as how little quantity or quality factors into whether DCSA GG Investigators are promoted within step/grade…pretty much a guaranteed promotion unlike those Investigators working for one of the Contract Companies.
@fed-investigator- I would not leave a position with DCSA to go to a Contract Company to do the same work…in my opinion, you have it better.
Fed-Investigator -Contractors measure their work differently than we do. In fact, they measure differently between themselves.
The stress is that their admin time, email time, “everything” time, with rare exception, is all part of their “production time”. They do not normally get breathing room for any of their mandatory admin time.
It is interesting, especially since we have supposedly moved away from sources per day to some EMH number that no one really understands. Of course though, the sources per day are still reflected in our stats, front and center every month. The productive time vs the indirect time is just stupid, all the way around. They hammer on the productive time like this job doesnt have all sorts of extra tasks and difficulties not related to interviewing and report writing. My favorite was when they required a 50/50 split. Lol
No worries, Im not going contractor. Too many years invested as a fed.
@fed-investigator, contractors have it much more difficult in that you have increased metrics to hit based on your FI level (much like GG/GS level/step). You also have to throw on there the number of potential contracts that the FI may work which increases the difficulty.
We also have increased metrics that correspond to our GS (GG) level. We don’t have multiple contracts, that would be a pain in the rear to juggle for sure.
Multiple contracts pushed on inexperienced investigators waaaaaaay too soon has been the downfall of many new hire investigators. It’s setting them up for failure. Peraton has just pushed out VTC/Zoom to ALL employee investigators. Virtual ESI’s for all is becoming a reality.