live video — house oversight committee: november 14, 2007 — rep. waxman to explore the OIG’s effectiveness under condi rice at the state department

i’ll have a live video
link up, and working, on wed.
morning — no witness list yet,
but
this hearing should look
into whether the OIG has been
directly, or indirectly, ob-
structing, stove-piping or
tampering with what should
be independent investigations
of blackwater misconduct, lax
spending oversight, and related
fraud in iraq, all on sec. rice’s
watch at the state department.

United States
House of Representatives
Committee on Oversight
and Government Reform

CSPAN3 LIVE COVERAGE
OF HEARING @ 10:00 am,on wed.

Full Committee Hearing:

Assessing the State Department
Office of Inspector General Howard J.
Krongard
, following a series of allegations
that the Inspector General halted
investigations, censored reports,
and refused to cooperate with law
enforcement agencies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007,
10:00 AM at 2154 Rayburn House
Office Building

Witness: The Honorable
Howard J. Krongard,
Inspector General
,
U.S. Department of State

By Order of the Chairman

[excerpt of chairman
waxman’s opening statement:]

. . .The Justice Department has advised us that Mr. Krongard’s actions resulted in “a cumbersome and time-consuming investigative process” and “added multiple layers to our investigative efforts.” As of last Friday, the Justice Department still had not received the State Department materials it requested.

As Mr. Krongard revealed through some ill-advised comments, the company implicated in the weapons smuggling is Blackwater. We have now learned that Mr. Krongard’s brother, Buzzy Krongard, serves on Blackwater’s advisory board. We have also learned that Mr. Krongard concealed this apparent conflict of interest from his own deputy, even as he remained actively involved in monitoring the Justice Department’s criminal investigation.

In the course of today’s hearing we will also examine allegations about Mr. Krongard’s actions regarding investigations into DynCorp and its subcontractors; his decision to allow the State Department to replace unfavorable financial audits with favorable ones; his contact with Kenneth Tomlinson to alert him to a possible investigation of wrongdoing; and his management approach to the Inspector General’s office.

It is a staggering list of allegations from Mr. Krongard’s own staff. In Committee interviews and depositions, the Deputy Inspector General, the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, the Assistant Inspector General for Audits, their deputies, and the Counsel to the Inspector General — along with many others — all criticized Mr. Krongard or his performance.

And a long list of top officials — including an Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, a Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, a Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audits, the head of the Office for Information Technology, and a Counsel to the Inspector General — have resigned since Mr. Krongard became Inspector General in 2005.

As one current senior official told us, joining Mr. Krongard’s office was the “worst mistake of my life”. . .

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