DOJ Spending $544k to Recruit on Linked-In

The Department of Justice signed a contract in late December to pay $544,000 for an “enhanced profile” on the social networking site “Linked In” to “increase its branding” and improve its ability to recruit prosecutors. The recipient of the contract is Carahsoft Technology Corporation, and you can view the contract details here.

Here is DOJ’s justification for avoiding the open-bidding process and what it gets for its money. Among the benefits: full access to every Linked-In profile.

This will include an enhanced company profile within a large-scale, professional networking platform, and targeted online job advertising to attract highly qualified Criminal Division employees and intern applicants as well as use the already existing Criminal Division presence,” the document said.

I find this particularly inappropriate when sequester cuts are still in effect for federal defenders and indigent defense counsel. Federal defenders have been hit with lay-offs and furloughs, while indigent defense counsel had their payment vouchers delayed for four weeks this fall and their already reduced rates cut $15.00 an hour. The pay cuts will last at least until September, 2014.

Here is Chief Justice John Roberts’ 2013 end of year State of the Judiciary report. The judiciary cuts from sequester amounted to $350 million.

How to Save DOJ Money Without Furloughs

Attorney General Eric Holder sent out a memo to Justice Department employees Friday (available here) saying he transferred $150 million from DOJ’s funds to the Bureau of Prisons to avoid mass furloughs of prison guards and staffers.

Absent this intervention, we faced the need to furlough 3,570 staff each day from the federal prisons around the country. The loss of these correctional officers and other staff who supervise the 176,000 prisoners at 119 institutions would have created serious threats to the lives and safety of our staff, inmates, and the public.

The Department’s actions can protect BOP’s facilities only through the end of the fiscal year in September and these actions do not address the serious life and safety issues that the BOP faces next year under continued funding at the post-sequestration levels.

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