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Waxman Letter to Krongard 9-18-07

Waxman Letter to Krongard 9-18-07

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House Government Oversight and Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) sent a letter to State Department Inspector General Howard J. "Cookie" Krongard detailing numerous allegations of Krongard's misconduct. Inspectors General (IGs) are the federal government's watchdogs who investigate waste, fraud and abuse. In recent years, a series of IGs have been accused of breaking the laws and rules they are supposed to defend. For more information about POGO's investigations in IGs, go to http://www.pogo.org
House Government Oversight and Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) sent a letter to State Department Inspector General Howard J. "Cookie" Krongard detailing numerous allegations of Krongard's misconduct. Inspectors General (IGs) are the federal government's watchdogs who investigate waste, fraud and abuse. In recent years, a series of IGs have been accused of breaking the laws and rules they are supposed to defend. For more information about POGO's investigations in IGs, go to http://www.pogo.org

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Published by: Project On Government Oversight on Sep 19, 2007
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05/08/2014

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HENRY
A
WAXMAN, CALIFORNIA,CHAIRMANTOMLANTOS, CALIFORNIAEDOLPHUS TOWNS, NEW YORKPAUL E. KANJORSKI, PENNSYLVANIACAROLYN B. MALONEY,
NEWYORK
ELIJAH
E.
CUMMINGS,
MARYTANDDENNIS
J.
KUCINICH,OHIODANNY K. DAV¡S, ILUNOISJOHN
F.
TIERNEY,MASSACHUSETTSWM.LACY CLAY, MISSOURIDIANE
E.
WATSON, CALIFORNIASTEPHEN F. LYNCH, MASSACHUSETTSBR¡AN HIGGINS, NEW YORKJOHN A. YAFMUTH, KENTUCKYBBUCEL. BRALEY, IOWAELEANOR HOLMES NORTON,DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA
BETTY MCCOLLUM,
MINNESOIA
JIM COOPER, TENNESSEECHRISVANHOLLEN, MARYLANDPAULW.HODES, NEW HAMPSHIRECHRISTOPHER S. MURPHY,
CONNECTICUIJOHN
P. SARBANES, MARYLAND
PEÌER
WELCH. VERMONTTOM DAVIS.VIRGINIA.RANKING
MINORIry
MEMBERDAN
BURTON,
INOIANACHB¡STOPHER SHAYS. CONNECT¡CUT
JOHN M,
MCHUGH, NEW YORK
JOHN
L. M¡CA. FLORIDA
MARK
E.SOUDER, INDIANATODD RUSSELL PLATTS,PENNSYLVANIACHRIS
CANNON,
UTAHJOHN
J.
DUNCAN,
JR.,
TENNESSEEMICHAEL B. TURNER,OHIODARBELLE. ISSA. CALIFORNIAKENNY MARCHANT,TEXASLYNN A. WESTMORELAND,GEORGIAPATB¡CK
T.
MCHENRY,NORTH
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COMMITTEEON OVERSIGHT
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Bullolr.lc
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20515-6143
MruoFrry
(202)225-5051
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(202)225-5074
www.overs¡ght.house.gov
September
18,2007
The Honorable
Howard
J.
Krongard
InspectorGeneral
U.S.
Department
of
State
2201C StreetNW
Washington,
DC
20520Dear
Mr.
Krongard:
I
am
writing
to
request
your
assistance
with
an
investigation
the
Oversight
Committee
has
initiatedinto
allegations
involving
your
conduct
as
InspectorGeneral
of
the
State
Department.
Since
yourtestimony
at
the
Committee's
hearingon July
26,2007,
current
and
former
employees
of
the
Office
of
Inspector
General have
contacted
my
staff
with
allegationsthat
you
interfered
with
on-going
investigationstoprotectthe
State
Department
and
the
White
House
from
political
embarassment.
Because some
of
these
individuals
still
workfor
you,they
havesought
whistleblower
statusandhaveasked
that
their identities
be
kept
confidential.
Othershave
already resigned
from theirpositions
andhaveagreed
to
go
onthe
record.
These
officials
include
John
A.
DeDona,the
former
Assistant InspectorGeneral
for
Investigations,
and
Ralph
McNamara,the
former Deputy
Assistant InspectorGeneral
for
Investigations,both
of whom
resigned afteryourepeatedly haltedor impeded investigationsundertakenby
their
office.
In all,
seven
current
and
former
officials
fromyour
office
have
communicatedconcems to
my
staff.The allegations
made
by
these
officials
are
not
limited
to
a
single
unit
or
project
within
your
offrce.
Instead,
they
span
all
three
major divisionsof
the
Office of
Inspector
General
-
nvestigations,audits,
and
inspections.
Theallegations were
made
by
employees
of
variedrank,ranging
from line
staffto upper
management.One
consistent element
in
these
allegations isthatyoubelieve
your
foremost
mission
is
to
support the Bush
Administration,
especially
with
respect
to Iraq
and
Afghanistan,
ratherthan
act
as
an
independent
and
objective
check
on waste,
fraud,
and
abuse
on
behalfof
U.S.
taxpayers. Accordingto
the
officials,
your
strong
affrnity
with
State
Department leadership
and
your
partisan
political
ties
have
ledyou
to halt
investigations,
censor
reports,
and refuse
to
 
The Honorable
Howard
J.
Krongard
September
18,2007
Page2
cooperate
with
law
enforcementagencies. The
officials
also
reportthat
you
are
dismissive
of
your
statutory
obligationsto
Congress.Some
of
the
specific
allegations include the
following:
o
Although
the
State
Department
hasexpended
over
$3.6
billion
on contracts
in Iraq
and
Afghanistan,
yourefused
to
send
anyinvestigatorsto
those
countries topursueinvestigations
into wasteful
spending orprocurementfraud
and have
concluded no fraudinvestigations
relatingto
the
contracts.
o
You
prevented
your
investigators
from
cooperating
with
a
Justice
Department
investigation into
waste, fraud,
and
abuse
relating
tothe newU.S.Embassy
in
Iraq
and
followed
highly
irregular
procedures
in
exonerating the
prime
contractor,
First
Kuwaiti
Trading
Company,
of
charges
of
labor
trafficking.
o
You
prevented
your
investigators
from
seizing evidence that they believed
would
have
implicated alarge
State
Department contractor
in
procurementfraud
in Afghanistan.
o
You
impeded
efforts byyour
investigators
to
cooperate
with
a
Justice
Departmentprobe
into
allegations that
a
large
private
security contractor was smuggling weapons
into
lraq.
o
You
interfered
with
an
on-going investigation into
the conduct
of
Kenneth
Tomlinson,
the
head
of Voice ofAmerica
and
a
close
associate
of
Karl
Rove,bypassing
information
about the
inquiry
to
Mr.
Tomlinson.
o
You
censored
portionsof
inspection reports on
embassies
so
that
critical
information
onsecurity
vulnerabilities
wasdropped
from
classified
annexes and
not disclosed
to
Congress.
o
You
rejected audits
of
the
State
Department's financial
statements
that documentedaccounting concerns
and refused
to
publish
them
until
points
critical
of
the Department
hadbeen
removed.
In
addition
to
these
specific
allegations,the
officials
have
all
described
a
dysfunctionaloffrce
environment
in which
you
routinely
berate and
beliule
personnel,showcontempt
for
the
abilities of
career
government professionals,
and cause
staff
to
fear coming
to
work.
The resultis
an
office
with
highpersonnel
tumover
that ispresentlyunable
to
fulfill
its mission
because
it
is severely
understaffed. Amongyour
office's
senior management,
the
AssistantInspectorGeneral
for
Investigations,the
Deputy
Assistant InspectorGeneral
for
Investigations,the
Deputy
AssistantlnspectorGeneral
for Audits,
and
the Counsel to thelnspectorGeneral
have
all
resigned
since
you
became
Inspector General
in
May 2005.
In
the investigations
division, only
7
of
27 investigator
positions
are
currently
filled.
 
The Honorable
Howard
J.
Krongard
September
18,2007
Page
3
These
allegations
merit
serious
considerationby the
Committee.
For this
reason,
I
am
requesting relevantdocuments
and
will
be
contacting employees
inyouroffice to
schedule
transcribed
interviews.
I
hope
you
will
cooperate
with
mystaff
as
thisinvestigation
proceeds.
In addition,
I
inviteyouto
addressthe
allegationsdescribed
inthis
letter
at
a
Committeehearingon
October
16,2007.Background
TheInspector General
Act
of
1978
provides
for
"independent
and
objective"
InspectorsGeneral
in
each
federaldepartment
and
independent
agency
appointed
"without
regard
to
political
aff,rliation
and
solely
on
the
basis
of integrity
and
demonstrated
ability in
accounting,
auditing, financial
analysis,
law,
management
analysis,
publicadministration, or
investigations."'
The
Act
providesthatthe
function of
InspectorsGeneralis
to
'oconduct,
supervise,
and
coordinateaudits
and
investigations"
and
"other activities
...
for
thepurpose
of
...
preventing
and
detecting fraud
and
abuse."'
Uniquely,
the
Act
directs
all
lnspectors
General
toreport
their findings
bothtothedepartment
head and,
independently,
to
Congters.3
You
werenominated
by
President Bush
as
the Inspector General
at
the
State
Department
in
January
2005
and
confirmed
by the
Senate
inMay 2005.
Youroffice
has
three
main
divisions:
investigations,
which
"conducts investigations
of criminal,
civil,
and
administrative
misconductrelated
to
otganizationalprograms
and
operations";
audits,
which
"conducts
and
coordinates audits
and
program
evaluations
of
the
managementand f,rnancial
operations"
of
theDepartment;
and
inspections,
which
examines
all
embassiesand
other
State
Department
facilitiesfor
problemsthat
could
compromise
policy
implementation,
resource
management,
or
security.*
Each
of
these
components is
headed
byits
own Assistant Inspector
General.
Theallegations
set
forthbelow
relate
to activitiesfrom
each
of
these
divisions.t
The Inspector General
Act
of
1978,5
U.S.C.
App.
$
3.
'
tA.
ç+1u¡.
3
Id.7*Itshall
be
the
duty
and
responsibility
of
each
Inspector General,
with
respect
to
the
establishment
within
which his Offrce
isestablished
...
to
keep
the
head
of
such
establishment
and
the
Congress
fully
and
currently informed
...
concerning fraud
and
other
serious
problems,
abuses,
and
deficiencies
relatingto
the
administration of
programs
and
operations administeredor financed
by
such
establishment").
o
U.S.Department
of
State,
Office
of
InspectorGeneral
(online
at
oig.state.gov)
(accessed
Sept.
13,
2007).

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