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February 9, 2018

ENJOY YOUR CRUMBS, PEASANTS: $20 Billion Hidden in the Swamp: Feds Redact 255,000 Salaries.

Recently, Open the Books filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (pictured) for all federal employee names, titles, agencies, salaries, and bonus information. We’ve captured and posted online this data for the past 11 years. For the first time, we found missing information throughout the federal payroll disclosures. Here’s a sample of what we discovered from the FY2017 records:

254,839 federal salaries were redacted in the federal civil service payroll (just 3,416 salaries were redacted in FY2016).

68 federal departments redacted salaries. Even small agencies like the National Transportation Services Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation redacted millions of dollars in salaries.

$20 billion in estimated payroll now lacks transparency.

A 7,360 percent increase in opacity hides one out of every five federal salaries.

Who’s the bureaucrat in charge? Not a Trump appointee – the president doesn’t even have a current nominee at OPM. So, the buck stops with new acting Director Kathleen McGettigan, a 25-year staffer who assumed the position because she was the next in line, not because the White House appointed her.

Personnel is policy, and this is still one of the Trump Administration’s weak spots even going into its second year.

Bigger picture: Washington either gets cleaned up and stops robbing us blind, or the backlash is going be unpleasant enough to make our political class beg and plead for more Trump instead.