In the Opinion page article "Let's Give Government Incentives to Productivity," Sept. 21, the author fails to recognize the differences between private and public sectors. The author correctly states: "No one knows better what is wrong with an organization than those who actually do the jobs, who experience first-hand the capabilities and shortcomings of those they work with." Annual appropriation and authorization statutes demonstrate that Congress refuses to permit the executive branch to play its role ; Congress mandates specific procedures, organizational structures, positions, pay, travel rules, studies, reports, gifts to favored sons, and otherwise micro-manages all levels of government.
The merit-pay concept for mid-level managers and the executive service neglects one thing: Funds for incentives have been absent year after year, so managers continue to fall behind private-sector counterparts. Although individual politicians may mean well, efficiency is not in their self-interest, and they have insisted on using the legislative process to set the rules. Richard Wojciechowski, Springfield, Va.
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