Al Kamen inquired about this report in his column some months ago. Matthew Lee of AP got first dibs of the leaked report last week. Digger of Life After Jerusalem
posted a link
of the AP report saying “Since I am not an idiot, I will just post this without comment
.” TSB of The Skeptical Bureaucrat has linked
to the AP report carried by WaPo. I’ve been looking for this report since last week and was told it will be online “within a few weeks.” The OIG website says the report was
posted on 02/26/10 –The Bureau of Public Affairs (ISP-I-10-39) Feb 2010
. In any case, I finally got to read it this morning.
On the Assistant Secretary, that would be P.J. Crowley — this is what the report says:
“Although the Assistant Secretary is approachable, gregarious, and easy to talk to, bureau personnel desire and require better, more, and regular communication from him, particularly regarding his strategic vision and goals for the Bureau, as well as his plans for organizational structure and the responsibilities of senior personnel. Employees throughout the Bureau, including some in the front office, lamented their lack of knowledge as to who is actually doing what. During the inspection, the Assistant Secretary hired a senior, experienced advisor to oversee the strategic planning process. This individual is working diligently and making inroads on this important assignment.”
It had good things to say about the former Spokesman Ian Kelly (currently awaiting
Senate confirmation to be Ambassador to OSCE
“The spokesman, who is also a deputy assistant secretary, is an experienced, competent Senior Foreign Service officer. He received high marks from bureau personnel for strong mentoring and his friendly, outgoing, and helpful demeanor.”
Also had good things to say about Robert Wood, the Deputy Spokesman (did he head out to be DCM some place in EUR?):
“The deputy spokesman is a skilled, professional briefer who often responds to questions without referring to the briefing book. He served effectively as Acting Assistant Secretary and spokesman for 4 months during the transition to the new administration, and he is the only current senior member of the front office to have worked for both the previous and current administrations. Staff members consider him to be a good mentor and a helpful colleague.”
The Office of Electronic Information (the folks who run the webs) came out with good marks. Did you know that during the first 9 months of the present administration, the website posted a total of 61,000 pages of online information — nearly as much information as was published in the last 8 years combined?
The Historian’s Office came out with acceptable marks — remember it went through an internal and very public upheaval in the closing days of the last administration (see the revolt of the historians
in late 2008-2009?).
The Office of Broadcast Services (PA/OBS) came out of this not too good:
“The office enjoys a strong reputation for customer service and technical expertise. However, acrimonious internal management problems have eroded teamwork and contributed to a tense and unproductive work environment. Bureau management must take action to address the leadership issues in the office.” Some items of note:
#1: Many in the office, even those who are sympathetic to the office director’s goals and objectives, describe the workplace climate as contentious and acrimonious, with mutual mistrust between the office director, who was appointed in 2005, and the employees in the office.
#2: Tensions have boiled over into confrontations between the office director and employees that resulted in disciplinary or administrative actions against subordinates on several occasions. Several employees expressed concerns to the OIG team that violence in the workplace could result because of the high levels of workplace animosity and tension.
#3: Employees gave the office director especially low marks for fairness, allowing dissent, and problem solving. […] The office director attributes employee discontent to resistance to change among the staff and weaknesses in their technical skills, which he felt he has addressed forthrightly. Elsewhere the OIG team found that no performance evaluation had been prepared for the office director in the past 2 years.
#4: Approximately three-quarters of staff interviewed by the OIG team cited a range of poor management practices — to include micromanagement, public humiliation and bullying of subordinates, failure to show proper respect for racial and religious diversity, a strongly directive management style, and a focus on exact performance of the technical elements of broadcast production, to the exclusion of interpersonal management and team building — as serious leadership failings that have damaged relations between employees and their supervisor.
#5: Many of these employees are not productively engaged. One employee spends 90 minutes a day editing video clips, and performs no other duties (now that IS a cushy job)!
#6: One employee cited a three-page memorandum that the office director issued to all staff on the proper use of the office coffee pot as an example of the unproductive interchange that now prevails. Seriously? Man, I want to read that memo, pronto!
OIG Recommendation 15: The Bureau of Public Affairs, in coordination with the Bureau of Human Resources, should transfer the office director for the Office of Broadcast Services to a nonsupervisory position. (Action: PA, in coordination with DGHR).