Allegations of Conflict of Interest and Misrepresentations Regarding GAO Review of Bucklin Report Are Unfounded

OSI-99-19R: Published: Sep 20, 1999. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 1999.

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Robert H. Hast
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the allegations of a conflict of interest for GAO personnel in their examination of a report prepared by Donald T. Bucklin regarding an equal employment opportunity complaint against the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

GAO noted that: (1) Mr. Bucklin alleged that GAO's lead investigator in its HUD investigation had an obvious conflict of interest; (2) he also contended that GAO made false and misleading representations in its correspondence with the congressional committees involved in the investigation; (3) Mr. Bucklin's allegations are without merit; (4) prior to issuing its letter, GAO afforded Mr. Bucklin an opportunity to explain the inaccuracies that GAO had identified in his report, but he did not respond to the offer; (5) Mr. Bucklin alleged that GAO's lead investigator should not have been assigned to the HUD investigation because he had previously been denied employment with the HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) after interviewing with HUD's Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations; (6) in fact, neither of the two special investigators assigned to this case had ever applied for a position with the HUD OIG or been interviewed by the Deputy Assistant Inspector General; and (7) GAO adheres to its position that the Bucklin Report contained factual inaccuracies.

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