The degree of incompetence at the State Department is shocking, and intolerable.
Failure to sign a formal separation agreement can have dire consequences for State Department employees, an agency whistle-blower told The Daily Caller.
“If you don’t do the separation agreement they can then initiate investigations as to why you’re not doing that… And further, if you don’t sign that agreement not only can you not get your benefits they can then look at proceeding with a termination from you versus a separation from you because you didn’t complete the required steps of separation,” Higbie said.
The whistleblower, Richard Higbie, is a 17-year veteran of the State Department and he says that not signing the agreement is a very big deal with dire consequences.
“You don’t have a choice. They will not give you your retirement benefits if you don’t sign the separation agreement. If you don’t sign the separation agreement any pay that’s coming to you, any retirement benefits or anything you put into 401ks, none of that’s going to come to you if you don’t sign the separation agreement.”
Psaki said that it does not appear that Clinton signed the document when she left the agency, and consequently added that it does not appear that Clinton’s predecessors, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, signed the exit document either.
Rick Higbie, second from right, is a senior criminal investigator with the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Higbie was previously employed as a foreign service officer but took legal action against his employers when he said they tried to encourage him to leave because of his daughter’s genetic disorder. (Photo courtesy of Google.com)
Signing the OF-109 is listed in the Foreign Affairs Manual as one of the requirements outgoing employees must fulfill before leaving the agency, Psaki tried to downplay the issue saying:
“We’re not aware of any penalty for not signing it,” she told reporters. “It’s not a violation of any rule.”
“It’s not clear that this form is used as a part of a standard part of checkout across the federal government or even at the State Department,” she continued. “We’re looking into how standard this is across the federal government and certainly at the State Department.”
According To A 2003 State Department Regulation 12 FAM 564.4 “Termination,” State Department Employees Are Subject To “A Security Debriefing” And Completion A “Separation Statement.” “A security debriefing will be conducted and a separation statement will be completed whenever an employee is terminating employment or is otherwise to be separated for a continuous period of 60 days or more. The debriefing is mandatory to ensure that separating personnel are aware of the requirement to return all classified material and of a continuing responsibility to safeguard their knowledge of any classified information. The separating employee must be advised of the applicable laws on the protection and disclosure of classified information (see 12 FAM 557 Exhibit 557.3) before signing Form OF-109, Separation Statement (see 12 FAM 564 Exhibit 564.4).” (U.S. State Department Foreign Affairs Manual, 12 FAM 564.4, 2/13/03)
Photos courtesy of Google.com