Thursday, March 20, 2008

Who Inspects the Inspectors General?

From the Washington Post:
[The State Department said] it had fired two contract employees and disciplined a third for accessing Sen. Barack Obama's passport file.

Obama's presidential campaign immediately called for a "complete investigation."

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the employees had individually looked into Obama's passport file on Jan. 9, Feb. 21 and March 14. To access such a file, the employees must first acknowledge a pledge to keep the information private. ***

"The State Department has strict policies and controls on access to passport records by government and contract employees," Casey said. ***

The employee involved in the March 14 incident has only been disciplined so far, because the probe of that incident is continuing, an official said.
The State Department's Office of Inspector General web site contains a possible explanation as to why this pattern of breaches is only now coming to light and why it wasn't referred to the Department of Justice:
OIG Job Vacancies

Announcement #: OIG-2008-0018
Organization: OIG/INV
Position Title: Criminal Investigator
Series/Grade: GS-1811-14/14
Date Open: March 11, 2008
Date Closed: March 25, 2008

Announcement #: OIG-2008-0033
Organization: OIG/INV
Position Title: Supervisory Criminal Investigator
Series/Grade: GS-1811-15/15
Date Open: March 11, 2008
Date Closed: March 25, 2008
Interested job-seekers should be sure to get their resumes in right away -- but one might expect that more OIG "Criminal Investigator" spots will open up at State in the near future.

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