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Patently Irresponsible

Last year, investigators revealed that U.S. Patent Office executives were blocking investigations into time fraud by patent examiners. The National Academy of Public Administration looked into it and found that nearly 10,000 employees of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office work from home without enough supervision. Managers told the academy they can’t easily tell whether their workers are working as scheduled. Telecommuting is treated as a right, the academy says, and union contracts prohibit managers from requiring bad workers to come to headquarters for additional training. Nor do the contracts permit supervisors to require regular meetings, even by Internet video, as the report recommends. But the Patent Office reads the report as confirming “the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s telework programs.” (AC/Washington Post) ...Whoever figured out how to hire 10,000 people without getting even one who needs supervision should patent his method.
Original Publication Date: 16 August 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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