It used to be that we could check the “Featured Items” in the OIG website and get the newest reports straight from the oven.
Sometime back, we’ve noticed that the newest reports were no longer consistently popping up in that section, but are filed in the regional sections of the reports. Which ensures that the reader had to do some digging before they get to read what they’re looking for. Here is what the OIG says about its reports:
Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports are posted on OIG’s Web sites in accordance with section 8L of The Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), as amended. All reports are reviewed, and redacted when appropriate, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552), and related statues/regulations, plus the President’s memorandum on “Transparency and Open Government”, dated January 21, 2009, and the Attorney General’s FOIA guidelines dated March 19, 2009.
**NOTE: The dates on OIG reports represent the dates the publications were issued/published, not when they were posted to the Web site.
For example, and this is not the first one, we just don’t feel like digging around today — take its “latest” report of its inspection of the US Embassy in the Bahamas. The inspection took place in Washington, DC, between September 13 and 28, 2011; in Nassau,
The Bahamas, between September 29 and October 12, 2011; and in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, on October 2, 2011. The report is dated January 2012. And it is now posted in the OIG’s WHA section and the Featured Items section, but we have no idea when it actually went up online.
Here is the Featured Items section:
Well, I thought, I’d be damn, I am going blind! How could I have missed that report on The Bahamas when it is right there, there sandwiched between Algeria and the Bureau of Administration/GIS?
And then I saw this tweet from the State Department OIG on February 23, 2012 at 9:38 am. Oooh, I am not going blind, after all!
I hate it when Transparency and Open Government plays tricks with me, I mean, don’t you? So here is a quick note for the Inspector General of the Department of State:
Dear State Department OIG — Folks, you really need to indicate the dates when you put up your reports online, and stop making us play hide and seek with you. You have posted a note that says “The dates on OIG reports represent the dates the publications were issued/published, not when they were posted to the Web site.” Well, that’s no good, because you got redundant dates there that have no other function except potential confusion.
Let me help you, it’s really quick and easy. See the red circle below? That should be your posted date. Why? Because your OIG reports are only dated by month and year. The report on The Bahamas says: Inspection of Embassy Nassau, The Bahamas Report Number ISP-I-12-08A, January 2012. See? It did not/not say 1/31/12. So where did that date come from, I’d like to know. And see the red rectangular-ish below? That’s the month and date indicated in the OIG reports.