Posted: 1:23 am EDT
[twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]
— Jennifer Sisane (@jsisane) February 18, 2015
Nonprofit contractor, IRD, billed USAID $1.1 million for parties & staff retreats http://t.co/mxGM9e9rxn
— Pete Cronin (@petecronin) March 13, 2015
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) March 13, 2015
We’ve used the USAID OIG website but it does not have a smart nor responsive search function. We wanted to know how many inspections, audits, whatev reports the Office of the Inspector General at USAID did on IRD over the years. If they were rigorous in their oversight and, if USAID and the State Department did anything about it. That is an important component to this story. And if that is true, we wanted to see just how rigorous is the OIG’s oversight based on the documents it put out through the years, because how else can we tell but by the number and quality of their output?
We sent a direct message to USAID OIG via Twitter and we got a response back:
For specific inquiries, please contact our office directly http://oig.usaid.gov/content/contact-usaid-oig
You click on that link and you’re told that “for media or general information inquiries, contact the OIG’s Immediate Office by mail, telephone, or fax. Whoa! The Immediate Office, apparently, is not immediate enough.
Late last year, following a Washington Post report on a USAID program in Pakistan, USAID OIG released (pdf) a statement with the following:
OIG is committed to providing products and information that are responsive to the needs of external customers and stakeholders. In responding to questions posed by Members of Congress and congressional staff, OIG has always endeavored to provide complete and accurate information based on the documentation and information available to us.
This is USAID’s largest nonprofit contractor. According to WaPo, USAID suspended IRD this past January from receiving any more federal work. The suspension came in the wake of allegations of misspending highlighted in a Post investigation in May 2014. USAID told the Post that they are cracking down on contractors who misspend tax money.
Hookay. So let’s start with finding out what type of oversight USAID OIG provided on IRD contracts since 2006. This is one time when those USAID OIG Fact Sheets would really be helpful.
USAID Suspends Big Contractor IRD: What Took So Long? (NonProfit Quarterly)
Doing well by doing good: The high price of working in war zones (WaPo, May 2014)