Insider’s look at the FDA
Disarray at the FDA? Who could have seen THAT coming?
Answer: An HSI member who actually worked at the agency.
After I sent you the e-Alert “The Dish Ran Away With the Spoon” (1/2/08), with details about organizational problems at the FDA, I received an e-mail from a member who asked me not to use his name.
Here’s an insider’s report from our Deep Throat: “I can personally attest to the backwards movement of the FDA in terms of its Information systems. I was the Security Program Manager for a brief 3 months. This short stint allowed me to see how problematic the work environment was.
“Yes, there are computer systems that are severely outdated (and accessible by the public).
“Working relationships are strained, silos of technical groups are how business is done, and contractors are despised (remember contractors basically ‘do’ the work of the government).
“Oh, and most important, what ever you do don’t speak up, they’ll put the hammer down on you quickly, unless, of course, you are on the appointed list to which the ‘lifers’ will say, ‘no worries, the next administration will replace you, we’ll continue, business as usual.’
“As a matter of fact, recently a senior scientist was chided (if not ‘released’) due to asking a question about a process that called into question an authoritarian decision made previously.
“It is a draconian place to work where logic and reason take a back seat to authoritarian rule.”