Review of Allegations Against a Former Deputy Director, U.S. Information Agency

NSIAD-85-52: Published: Feb 15, 1985. Publicly Released: Mar 18, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed allegations against the former Deputy Director of the U.S Information Agency (USIA).

GAO found no evidence to substantiate allegations that the Deputy Director: (1) took a personal trip at government expense; (2) acted improperly in approving several grants; (3) attempted to influence the outcome of a USIA audit report; or (4) conducted private business while employed by USIA. However, GAO found that the Deputy Director: (1) made personal telephone calls using government telephones and credit cards without reimbursing USIA and installed telephone service in his residence at government expense; (2) approved grants which provided funds to organizations headed by his cousin and a personal friend; (3) set up a selection process which gave preferential treatment to summer employment applicants referred by political or USIA sources; (4) caused the creation of a production assistant position in Voice of America (VOA) for which there was no requirement; (5) approved a procedurally incorrect performance evaluation which resulted in a merit pay increase; and (6) used support staff and office equipment for personal tasks. In addition, GAO found indications of a lack of compliance within USIA with agency regulations governing telephone calls and the preparation of performance appraisals.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director, USIA, should direct the USIA Bureau of Management to identify fully all charges arising from installation of a residential telephone and personal use of government telephones and credit cards by the Deputy Director, and obtain reimbursement.

    Agency Affected: United States Information Agency

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director, USIA, should direct the USIA Bureau of Management to adhere to certification procedures for long distance telephone calls as provided by statute and conduct a periodic review of these charges to ensure compliance.

    Agency Affected: United States Information Agency

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director, USIA, should direct the USIA Bureau of Management to evaluate the need for the VOA production assistant position and take appropriate action.

    Agency Affected: United States Information Agency

 

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