"THE DISTURBING RESPONSE" *
"Green" is the person responsible for administering a command’s Culture and Leadership Survey. Most personnel in the command take the survey over the local area network (LAN), but those without LAN access are provided a computer disk to which they write their answers, and a trusted agent then returns this disk to Green’s office. However, whether it is taken from a computer disk or over the LAN, the survey cannot be opened without seeing a highlighted statement guaranteeing complete anonymity to the person taking the survey (who is called the "respondent"). This promise of anonymity is made to encourage frank and honest comments about the respondent’s job satisfaction, work environment, leadership, knowledge of the mission, and Quality Air Force principles.
As the project manager, Green relies heavily on a computer technician to compile the raw responses into a form useful to leadership. On one particular day, this computer tech (whom Green respectfully calls "Data") enters Green’s office with disturbing news. In one of the surveys, the respondent has indicated a low level of respect for his/her supervisor because the supervisor "is covering up the fact that one of his civilian employees and the employee’s wife (an officer in another unit) have been falsifying entitlement certification paperwork for their housing allowance." The respondent also alleges it is common knowledge that this employee and his wife gave misleading or false responses on the paperwork when their security clearances were recently renewed, and the supervisor took no action to correct the situation.
Green looks up from this response and offers the opinion that it’s too bad they’ll never know whom this respondent is.
"I wouldn’t be so sure," says Data. "I know a few tricks about manipulating this program so that we can identify the respondent’s unit and maybe even his/her work center. Just say the word."