Are there any observed instances of sabotage of the civil service?

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The Politicus
Mar 21, 2022 02:54 PM 0 Answers
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In a case where an administration is on the way out, or strongly predicts that it is on the way out, has there been any observed occurrences of that administration sabotaging its civil service for the purpose of undermining the incoming government? Specifically, impeding the rival government's ability to govern due to the time and money spent undoing its damage and thus besmirching the new administration in the eyes of the electorate -- presumably the rhetoric of "it was the other guys' fault" will only go so far -- with the intent to curry favour for themselves in subsequent elections.

For example, this could be:

  • Getting rid of good people, or installing bad (incompetent/partisan/etc.) ones; especially where labour laws make it expensive to hire/fire people.
  • Reducing efficiency within or between departments with, e.g., unnecessary bureaucracy.
  • Slashing key budgets, or instigating "white elephant" projects (i.e., where the sunk cost would be embarrassing to explain to the tax payer, if it were cancelled).

Obviously the damage done would have to be subtle enough such that it didn't look deliberate (which may make the "observation" part of my question difficult to satisfy) and, of course, to not outlast the rival's term, while frustrating enough to significantly impair them with no hope of turning it around into an opportunity.

If it has been observed, was it successful: Did they "get away with it" and did it have the desired result?

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