Via Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
The National Park Service has started using a political loyalty test for picking all its top civil service positions, according to an agency directive released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Under the new order, all mid-level managers and above must also be approved by a Bush administration political appointee.
Undermining the civil service system hurts us all.
The order applies to all hires for park superintendents, assistant superintendents and program managers, such as chief ranger or the head of interpretive or cultural programs. Overall, the policy applies to more than 1,000 mid-level management and supervisory positions in the Park Service.
These are not political figures, and their qualifications aren't political, but scientific. To the extent these people are involved in politics, it's vital that they not be partisan, because they are dealing with local politics and local conflicts. But mostly, they are responsible for implementing policies handed down from above, and offering advice that will best represent the state of knowledge in the field.