Allegations About a Former Assistant Secretary

HRD-86-80BR: Published: Mar 21, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed certain allegations concerning the former Assistant Secretary of Education for Legislation and Public Affairs, specifically to determine whether she: (1) performed her duties on a regular basis; (2) used government facilities for activities that violated Department of Education standards of conduct; and (3) used government vehicles and personnel for unofficial purposes.

GAO found that: (1) former employees and consultants in the Office of Legislation and Public Affairs provided conflicting information regarding the former Assistant Secretary's performance on the job; (2) no time and attendance records were kept; (3) there was no requirement that she work any set number of hours or be in her office at any particular time; (4) there were numerous instances where alcoholic beverages were consumed in her office and no prior exemption was granted for appropriate official use; and (5) there was no evidence that the former Assistant Secretary recorded conversations without the knowledge of the people involved. GAO also found that: (1) there was evidence that the former Assistant Secretary used government personnel and vehicles for her personal purposes; (2) employees who supervised consultants were not aware of any specific procedures or guidance for monitoring consultants' performance; (3) the former Assistant Secretary generally did not certify the consultants' time and attendance reports; and (4) although it was alleged that the former Assistant Secretary made cash awards to employees without written justification, she adequately followed the awards process.

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