Vetting Process Leaves Agencies Understaffed
Stimulus increases workload, but senior posts vacant
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2009 3:02 PM CST
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is the only official listed on the department website.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Obama’s nominee vetting process is making it hard for federal agencies to get to work on new projects, the Boston Globe reports. Of about 500 senior positions, only 70 have been filled. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but the passage of the stimulus package “may exacerbate the consequences of appointments taking awhile,” one expert said.

The Treasury situation, in particular, is “shameful,” White House economic adviser Paul Volcker said yesterday, and Secretary Timothy Geithner “shouldn’t be sitting there alone.” Other departments are depending on aides, staffers and Bush holdovers as well. But one ex-Clinton official said vacancies can be beneficial: “You can get bolder policy initiatives acted on because there are fewer people to second-guess them.”