Inspectors General work in an office that was set up by The Inspector General Act of 1978. The IG office is supposed to investigate all branches of the federal government and report all findings of fraud and abuse to department heads and to Congress. It’s also supposed to be non-partisan, independent, and objective while performing its investigative functions.
You will not be surprised to find that the current IG office is accused of being pretty much the opposite of that.
Yesterday, Representative Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, wrote a fourteen-page letter to State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard. Here’s just a few of the things he had to say in his letter:
Dear Mr. Krongard:
I am writing to request your assistance with an investigation the Oversight Committee has initiated into allegations involving your conduct as Inspector General of the State Department.
Since your testimony at the Committee’s hearing on July 26, 2007, current and former employees of the Office of Inspector General have contacted my staff with allegations that you interfered with on-going investigations to protect the State Department and the White House from political embarrassment. Because some of these individuals still work for you, they have sought whistleblower status and have asked that their identities be kept confidential. Others have already resigned from their positions and have agreed to go on the record.
The allegations made by these officials are not limited to a single unit or project within your office. Instead, they span all three major divisions of the Office of Inspector General – investigations, audits, and inspections. The allegations were made by employees of varied rank, ranging from line staff to upper management.
One consistent element in these allegations is that you believe your foremost mission is to support the Bush Administration, especially with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than act as an independent and objective check on waste, fraud, and abuse on behalf of U.S. taxpayers. According to the officials, your strong affinity with State Department leadership and your partisan political ties have led you to halt investigations, censor reports, and refuse to cooperate with law enforcement agencies. The officials also report that you are dismissive of your statutory obligations to Congress.
Like I said, it’s a fourteen-page letter, so rather than list all the accusations, here’s a summary from the Think Progress website:
Refused to send “any investigators” into Iraq and Afghanistan to “pursue investigations into wasteful spending or procurement fraud.”
Stalled investigators from cooperating with a “Justice Department investigation into waste, fraud, and abuse relating to the new U.S. Embassy in Iraq.”
Used “irregular” and incomplete investigative procedures to help exonerate a prime contractor of the U.S. embassy in Iraq of charges of labor trafficking.
Impeded investigators’ efforts to cooperate with a Justice probe into allegations that a “large private security contractor was smuggling weapons into Iraq.”
Interfered with an on-going investigation “into the conduct of Kenneth Tomlinson, the head of Voice of America and a close associate of Karl Rove.”
Censored portions of inspection reports on embassies so that information on security vulnerabilities was “not disclosed to Congress.”
Back to Waxman’s letter…
In addition to these specific allegations, the officials have all described a dysfunctional office environment in which you routinely berate and belittle personnel, show contempt for the abilities of career government professionals, and cause staff to fear coming to work.
Washington Post story here.
Just another example of how our first “MBA President” runs our country.
No wonder he couldn’t hold a regular job.