Posted: 12:50 am ET
The State Department’s Inspector General started work on some subjects of note since last February. For those with stories to share about sexual harassment (and sexual assault), please contact the OIG Hotline or call 1-800-409-9926 and 1-202-647-3320.
We recognize that sexual harassment and sexual assaults are difficult to talk about, and all who we have been in contact with were deeply concerned of career repercussions. But we can all agree that these offenders – particularly high ranking individuals who abused their positions — will not stop until people stand up to them.
We’ve blogged about harassment and assaults for a while now. Back in August 2016 , State/OIG told us that while they take allegations of sexual harassment “very seriously” as a general matter, “OIG refers allegations of sexual harassment, equal employment opportunity, and/or potential hostile work environment to the Department’s Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR), consistent with the FAM.”
State/OIG also informed us then that “if such matters appear systemic, then OIG may investigate. Indeed, in its report “Review of Selected Internal Investigations Conducted by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security” (ESP-15-01) OIG examined the case of a Diplomatic Security manager with a long history of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations dating back 10 years.”
Also this: “Department employees who believe they have been subjected to whistleblower retaliation may contact OIG or the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). OIG can help the individual in understanding their rights and may investigate the retaliation, as well as alert the Department to any illegal reprisal.”
It took awhile but it looks like the IG is looking into this now. We hope that people will find the courage to speak up and consider sharing their stories. We don’t know when this moment will come again.
- Evaluation of the Department’s Treatment of Reports of Sexual Harassment
- Evaluation of the Department of State’s Use of Schedule B Hiring Authority
- Inspection of the Bureau of Administration, Office of Critical Environment Contracting Analytics, Risk Analysis and Management
- Inspection of the Status of Benghazi Accountability Review Board Recommendations
In April 2018, the following work were also started:
- Audit of the Information Security Program for Sensitive Compartmented Information Systems at the Department of State
- Inspection of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Fraud Prevention Programs
Note that this is not an exhaustive list of all the OIG work started.