Posted: 3:02 am ET
Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, have called on State OIG Steve Linick to look into reports of violations of personnel policies and political retribution against State Department employees.
Our staffs have been in touch with whistleblowers alleging that the Department is engaging in prohibited personnel practices that appear to conflict with agency regulations and policies. The information we have received corroborates recent reporting by CNN on the same matter. We ask that you look into allegations that the Department has unlawfully targeted employees for political reasons due to their work under the last Administration.
Our staffs have been made aware of credible allegations that the State Department has required high-level career civil servants, with distinguished records serving administrations of both parties, to move to performing tasks outside of their area of substantive expertise. At the very least, this is a waste of taxpayer dollars. At worst, it may constitute impermissible abuse and retaliation.
The two Ranking Members requested that the State OIG “investigate the State Department’s FOIA surge.” They want to know if 1) “these personnel assignments made according to U.S. law and Department regulations?” 2) “Were the rights of the Department’s employees violated?”and 3) “Did political retaliation play any role?”
On January 30, govexec reported that State/OIG is “looking into” allegations that the agency is engaged in political targeting and other prohibited personnel practices.
State Department IG Looking Into Alleged Political Targeting of Career Workershttps://t.co/4BSUOGqfIZ
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) January 30, 2018
.@RepEliotEngel & @RepCummings: "At the very least, this is a waste of taxpayer dollars. At worst, it may constitute impermissible abuse and retaliation.” https://t.co/jhll29Jnax pic.twitter.com/5x0lLZIkbE
— House Foreign Affairs Committee Democrats (@HFACDemocrats) January 29, 2018
Exclusive: Democrats call on the State Department's watchdog to conduct an "immediate review" of personnel practices after a number of employees told CNN they were unlawfully targeted due to their work under the Obama administration https://t.co/W6eIpFdFrK pic.twitter.com/G2KAH12yEf
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 27, 2018
— Elise Labott (@eliselabottcnn) January 26, 2018