What was the biggest #GovOops of the year?

For his Federal Eye blog this morning, Ed O’Keefe asked readers to help with his upcoming year-end review. Vote on or suggest what the biggest “head slams desk” moments of the year was for the Federal Government. Some examples include:

— The Agriculture Department announces that Christmas tree growers plan to add a surcharge to tree prices, conservatives declare it a “Christmas tree tax” and the policy is quickly withdrawn.

— The Obama administration attempts to relaunch the USAJobs.govsite after saying that a private company couldn’t manage it effectively. Then the site crashes because of increased traffic.

— The government comes within one hour of officially shutting down in April as Congress and the White House spar over federal spending levels. The gridlock forces federal employees to brush off contingency plans not seen since 1994.

— The Justice Department’s watchdog issues a report claiming officials once paid for $16 muffins served at a Washington conference. The report is later revised, but not before the Obama administration forces every federal agency to review conference and party policies.

We want GovLoopers’ input. Are there other examples of government mistakes and mismanagement we forgot? Check out what our readers and tweeps are saying here (Solyndra and near-shutdown are getting lots of votes from them). Share your thoughts on those moments – as well as the highlights – in the comments or on Twitter using #govoops.

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Profile Photo Chris Poirier

Based on the millions of dollars invested in USAJOBs over the last two years alone (mid to high $20 million range) I have to throw “support” behind USAJOBS. Any way you look at it, it was a failure at launch and every time they say traffic was solely to blame I laugh until I cry. It was clear that little to no load testing was done prior to launch, the application itself wasn’t tested and debugged, and then worst of all OPM wasn’t willing to admit they made mistakes. (So much for transparency.) For people to get a good feeling from government, inhouse innovation government needs to be willing to undertake good management, public relations, and be accountable for all of their actions and USAJOBS just didn’t meet any of those requirements.

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Profile Photo Peter Sperry

The top two would have to be putting the taxpayers on the hook for a 1/2 billion dollar loan to Solyndra when the career staff at OMB were recommending caution and the Attorney General perjuring himself before Congress to cover up the Justice Department’s involvement with Fast and Furious which caused the death of four Border Patrol agents.

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Profile Photo Kathy Sciannella

I have to nominate…..(drum roll please) USA Jobs launch. Why would OPM think they could do better than a private company who manages other job boards? As a HR recruiter who uses USA Jobs, it was a mess. We had applications lost, angry applicants. angry hiring staff. That was not government’s finest hour. I agree that they did not test it appropriately — why would you go live to the scrutinity of millions and not have a tested product?

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