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@StateDept Politely Tells Inspector General to Um … Buzz Off

Posted: 4:55 am EDT

 

On December 2, State/OIG posted online its Management Assistance Report: Progress Made But Action Still Needed to Address Physical Security Deficiencies Reported in FYs 2012 and 2013 (PDF). Excerpt below:

During FYs 2012 and 2013, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued 12 reports that identified deficiencies in the security posture of 10 posts visited. As part of OIG’s audit compliance and follow-up process, OIG assessed the extent to which the Department of State (Department) implemented the 137 recommendations issued in these 12 reports (see Appendix A). Based on the Department’s actions and responses to these recommendations as of September 15, 2015, OIG had closed 122 of the 137 recommendations (or 89 percent). However, 15 of these recommendations had remained open, 6 of which were unresolved with no communication from the post or bureau since the reports were issued (see Appendix B).

State/OIG acknowledges the State Department’s efforts on complying with the security recommendations but would not let go of the remaining nine recommendations that it says have remained open more than two years after they were made:

U) OIG acknowledges the Department’s efforts to address OIG’s physical security recommendations in a timely manner. As of October 30, 2015, the Department has implemented 128 of 137 recommendations (93 percent) made by OIG in these 12 reports, although 9 recommendations remain open. Prompt and timely corrective action by the Department has resulted in several positive outcomes,REDACTED. However, more than 2 years later, nine of these recommendations remain open. While the responsible bureaus and posts agreed to the other nine open recommendations, final action has not occurred. REDACTED
[….]
[T]he Under Secretary did not provide a plan of action to address the implementation of the remaining nine open recommendations. As such, this recommendation will remain open until OIG receives a plan of action from the Under Secretary or obtains sufficient evidence that the nine open recommendations have been fully implemented. In addition, OIG will continue to track the implementation of these open recommendations and report the status in OIG’s Semiannual Report to Congress.

The heavily redacted audit includes Table 1 which contains a list of the responsible Bureaus and posts and the number of open and closed recommendations as of September 15, 2015. State/OIG notes that “uncorrected physical security deficiencies, if exploited, could compromise the safety of post personnel and property.”

State/OIG also includes the response from “M” that says in part, “If OIG agrees with the Department’s planned way forward for these nine recommendations, then additional attention from this office is not needed.” Elsewhere in the State Department’s response, the Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy also tells IG Steve Linick “this exercise is redundant.”

60dayswilliwonka

State/OIG made the following response:

With respect to the Under Secretary’s statement that “this exercise is redundant,” the purpose of this Management Assistant Report is to prompt action to close all open recommendations associated with the aforementioned reports. Although OIG considers the open recommendations referenced in this report resolved because the responsible bureaus and posts agreed to implement them, the fact is that more than 2 years has passed and nine recommendations [Redacted] (b) (5), [Redacted] (b) (7)(F) remain open. For this reason, OIG raised these open recommendations with the Under Secretary for Management and recommended a plan of action to complete corrective actions.

And added two more recommendations:

Recommendation 1: (U) OIG recommends that the Under Secretary for Management provide a report to OIG within 60 days of report issuance on the status of corrective actions and the reasons for delays in completing corrective actions on the nine open recommendations listed in Appendix C.

Recommendation 2: (U) OIG recommends that the Under Secretary for Management provide a plan of action to complete corrective actions, including appropriate milestones, to address the remaining nine open recommendations listed in Appendix C.

Read more below though lots of Sharpied out places:

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