For the Good of Illinois

OpenTheBooks Oversight Report - Mapping The Swamp, A Study of the Administrative State

December 26, 2017 06:30 PM
OpenTheBooks Oversight Report
A Study of the Administrative State (FY2016)
Download a PDF copy of our report click here
Read our press release click here
We literally mapped the 2 million federal civil service employees (FY2016).
Search the 2 million federal employees by ZIP code. Just click a pin and scroll down to see the results rendered in the chart beneath the map.


1. The federal government pays its disclosed workforce $1 million per minute, $66 million per hour, and $524 million per day. In FY2016, the federal government disclosed 1.97 million employees at a cash compensation cost of $136.3 billion.

2. Over a six-year period (FY2010-2016), the number of federal employees making $200,000 or more has increased by 165 percent; those making $150,000 or more has grown by 60 percent; and those making more than $100,000 has increased by 37 percent.

3. On average, federal employees are given 10 federal holidays, 13 sick days, and 20 vacation days per year. If each employee used 13 sick days and took 20 vacation days in addition to the 10 federal holidays, it would cost taxpayers an estimated $22.6 billion annually.

4. In FY2016, a total 406,960 employees made six-figure incomesthat's roughly one in five disclosed federal employees. Furthermore, 29,852 federal employees out-earned each of the 50 state governors receiving more than $190,823.

5. At 78 out of the 122 independent agencies and departments we studied, the average employee compensation exceeded $100,000 in FY2016.

6. With 326 employees at a total cash compensation of $28.8 million, we found a federal agency in San Francisco – Presidio Trust – paid out three of the top four federal bonuses including the largest in the federal government in FY2016. The biggest bonus went to an HR Manager in charge of payroll for $141,525.

7. Together, the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employ more than half of the disclosed federal workforce. As the largest civilian employer within the federal government, the USPS employed 32 percent of all disclosed federal employees, totaling 621,523 people on payroll in FY2016. The VA employed the second most employees with 372,614 or 19 percent of the disclosed federal workforce.

8. Only one-third of the 35,000 lawyers in the federal workforce work at the Department of Justice. The entire staff of federal lawyers earned $4.8 billion in FY2016.

9. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employed 3,498 police officers at a total cost of $172 million in FY2016. When asked about corresponding crime statistics, the VA was unable to provide any information on the number of crimes or incidents.

10. There are an additional 2 million undisclosed employees at the Department of Defense and in the active military. Their estimated cash compensation value, combined with $1 billion in undisclosed bonuses and $125 billion in hidden pension data, amounts to roughly $221 billion in undisclosed federal cash compensation per year.

Download a PDF copy of our report click here





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us taxpayer
san francisco, CA
4/27/2019 07:07 AM

  Easy to blame to average blue collar worker, who only makes a good wage because of a good union. Look to the attorneys who charge $300 to $1000 dollars an hour to argue and file papers. Example the Buck Fund Case where, Beryl Buck left billions in her will to the impoverished people and charity non profit groups in the County of Marin, California. Other counties fought this they wanted a piece of the action. After losing, the fund had to pay attorneys millions of dollars to file and lose an obvious case. This kinda crap happens all the time. You can easily find how much a working makes a year but try to find out how much these lawsuits costs is impossible. Quit picking on the little guy. Go after the real money wasters.

Rodney Mynatt
Memphis, TN
2/7/2019 07:29 PM

  It’s been known for long time of government waste supported by union and entrenchment. I say slash departments by significant percent’s and demand justification specifics for any comebacks. Dial down hard on bonus recipients. Reward conservatively high performance and responsible use of the people’s treasure with reasonable bonus levels. I got a $200 bonus, not multiple tens of thousands. Be proud to serve the positions of public trust with integrity. Cease the greed.

Ronald Aitken, CMSgt Retired
Boerne, TX
6/22/2018 09:51 PM

  30+ years of working with civilian employees yielded the following: - few are well educated for the jobs they fill - promotions and bonuses are more about politics than work performance - military leadership is out of step with reducing waste - military contractors are well or even over paid for services