D.B. Grady, coauthor of Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry and online at dbgrady.com pens an April 23 article for The Atlantic on the many dysfunction at the State Department. The article specifically highlights State’s lack of permanent IG and the case of former FSO, Joan Wadelton (with links to this blog). Quick excerpt below:
The U.S. Department of State has not had a permanent, Senate-confirmed inspector general (IG) since 2008. This is the longest vacancy of any of the 73 inspector general positions in government, and the effects of this are all but impossible to ignore. Whether it’s the boondoggle that is the Jeddah New Consulate Compound, or the tragic attacks in Benghazi, the “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies” (as an independent panel called it) of the State Department are in need of repair. That’s not going to happen until an IG candidate is found, vetted, and installed.
To understand the importance of the position, it’s useful to look at what the job entails. A good inspector general is an agency’s fail-safe. A bureaucracy will always operate in its own self-interest. Budgets, portfolios of responsibility, head-counts, and independence from oversight are prime motivators for any organization. Accordingly, the leadership of the little kingdoms within a bureaucracy will always work to protect and perpetuate themselves.
After Wadelton and others approached Congress to correct these problems, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Howard Berman, the Ranking Member, signed a bipartisan letter to the GAO tasking it with following up on the 2010 Inspector General’s report and reporting back whether had been fixed. In July 2012, the GAO began its investigation, which is still ongoing. Wadelton was one of the first people that they interviewed.
Continue reading, The State Department Needs a Watchdog—Now, Not Later
Really glad to see that Congress is paying attention and that the GAO is once more taking a look. (see Joan Wadelton’s Case: That’s One Messy Promotion Scorecard, Next Up – It’s GAO Time! We’ll also be in the lookout for the resolution of the court case, Wadelton v. Clinton et.al and the results from the GAO.
- The State Department Needs a Watchdog – Now, Not Later (theatlantic.com)
- The Sad Saga of US Consulate Jeddah’s New Consulate Compound via USASpending.com (diplopundit.net)
- Joe Newman: After 5 Years, Is Obama Ready to Fill State Department Vacancy? (huffingtonpost.com)
- House Committee Tackles Issues of IG Independence (pogoblog.typepad.com)
This broken promotion system did not begin in 2008…it goes back many years. It was commonly accepted among the FSOs during my time that promotions were not transparent and not related to true performance metrics.
You’re right. The difference this time is the case is in court. The Wadelton v. Clinton case has a long list of who’s who in the DGHR universe. Should be interesting to see what shows up in court docs.