Homeland Security Faces Staffing Crisis

A quarter of top positions remain vacant; Congress warns of safety threat
By Theodore Bressman,  Newser User
Posted Jul 9, 2007 9:13 AM CDT
Agents from the US Coast Guard section of the US Homeland Security...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Nearly 150 top-level management positions at the Department of Homeland Security—nearly a quarter of all available jobs—remain unfilled, a new congressional report warns. The gaps, which include high-level positions at FEMA, immigration agencies, and the Coast Guard, could seriously affect the nation's preparedness for a terrorist threat, according to the review.

DHS ranks last among the 36 government agencies in employee satisfaction, and Congressional auditors fear that overpoliticization has discouraged qualified applicants who turn to better salaries and less politically charged positions in the private sector. DHS has not recovered from the political fallout of FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina. (Read more Department of Homeland Security stories.)