A private law firm retained by the Civil Service Commission to smoke out illegal patronage activities by CSC staffers during the Nixon years has completed its report. The 400-page document, by the firm of Rogovin, Stern and Huge, was 10 months in the making and cost an estimated $290,000.
CSC Chairman Alan K. Campbell said top aides are looking at the report now, and that he hopes to "get it out" to key members of Congress shortly.
Campbell declined to discuss any details of the report. Other CSC sources said it spells out both administrative" weaknesses in CSC, which made it possible for politicians to subvert the merit system, and also identified top CSC employes who cooperated with the White House and members of Congress to skirt merit system rules and get jobs for people as political payoffs.
The so-called Rogovin study has been a center of controversy since CSC gave the law firm the unadvertised contract last November for an estimated $150,000. There have been several delays in the original target dates for completion, and the contract has been extended and its worth upped to approximately $290,000.
Some members of Congress, the press and the bureaucracy have charged the investigation is a CSC attempt to whitewash alleged improper or illegal activities of employes and high officials, and also to protect key members of Congress who sough special handling" for candidates they recommended for career civil service jobs.
Commission officials say Rogovin, a former assistant attorney general who later represented the Central Intelligence Agency during congressional probes of CIA activities, had the best firm, facilities and grasp of inside-government activities to make the ivestigation of CSC for CSC.
Campbell, who was appointed by President Carter to help overhaul CSC and the CS system, said Rogovin had a free hand to interview employes, and access to all records and documents. The law firm's contract with the U.S. merit system watchdog agency gives it the right to retain its files and documents on the case for three years.
Reps. Newton Steers (R.Md.) and John Moss (D-Calif.) asked the General Accounting Office to look into the Rogovin contract. They want to know if it is proper and to insure that GAO has the right to review all material used by the investigators to develop the report.
Moss and his staff have aggressively attacked the commission and other government agencies for "mishanldling" it and "cover-ups," of merit system abuses GAO's reponse to Steers and Moss is due shortly.
It is expected to give all phases of the contract a clean bill of health, and to attempt to assure the members that GAO will have full rights to study all government owned material used by Rogovin and his investigators.
The House began probing merit-system tampering charges about the time former president Nixon's Watergate problems peaked. A detailed report by the House Post Office Civil Service Committee concluded that improper political placements has taken place in the General Services Administration, Housing and Urban Development and the Small Business Administration. It mentioned CSC "cooperation" with politicians but recommended no punishment.
Nineteen GSA workers eventually were charged by CSC with being part of an illegal patronage ring. But none of the top officials in any of the agencies over was charged, and none of the employes fingered by Congress or the commission ever was found guilty although most resigned their jobs.
The House Post Office-Civil Service Committee investigation of the merit system abuses disappointed many federal workers. Top officials in CSC and GSA - who were blood enemies at the point in time - said in private that some members of the committee intentionally were pulling their punches because some of them were hip-deep in the merit system abuses they were investigating.
Four Day Week: It could begin on an experimental basis in some government agencies. President Carter has signed legislation permitting experiments with the 10-hour day, 4-day week and other versions of "flexitime" in government.
It will permit agencies to expand experiments with the stretched-out work day, and to waive overtime after eight hours a day for employes who volunteer to work a longer day.
openings in the $16,000 to $22,000 range, and also Grade 5 and 7 civil engineer jobs at Fort Myer. Call Martha Mason at 692-8391.
Association of Federal Investigators will have its awards dinner Oct. 28 at the Fort Myer Officers Club. Check with executive director Lou Williams at 347-5500 for reservations.