Low incentive to perform well
Sustainment Project Manager (Former Employee) – Lackland AFB, TX – 22 February 2012
The Defense Commissary Agency Facilities Directorate: The Defense Commissary Agency is responsible for all the commissaries of the United States in the world. Most, but not all, military bases have a commissary. The Facilities Directorate is charged with constructing and maintaining the commissary “plants”. The construction budgets are paid for by a 5% surcharge on sales. As sales go up, more funds are available. As sales go down, fewer funds are available. Staff salaries are paid for by appropriation.
The government of the United States, in a desire to be fair, has instituted complex personnel regulations. One of the more unfortunate results is that it is difficult to get rid of employees who perform poorly. That fact manifests itself in making employees have to choose between taking risks to succeed in their mission and making sure that if anything goes awry they will not be blamed. The choice is clear: There is no incentive to take risk. The result is that many employees are just doing the minimum and putting in their time until they can retire.
The environment is clean and well lighted. Work areas are small by private standards, but about normal for government standards. There is almost no opportunity for advancement, it is difficult to transfer to another agency, and the pay is poor by private standards. Therefore, with some notable exceptions, the people who accept a position there are generally low end professionally.