oversight

Response - Congressional Request on Closed Investigations and Investigations of High Level Employees; Open Office of Inspector General Audit Recommendations; and Attempts to Interfere with OIG Independence or Restrictions or Delays in Providing OIG with Access to Information

Published by the Farm Credit Administration, Office of Inspector General on 2015-11-05.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

Farm Credit Administration                                              Office of Inspector General
                                                                        1501 Farm Credit Drive
                                                                        McLean, Virginia 22102-5090




November 5, 2015




The Honorable Ron Johnson
Chairman
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
United States Senate
328 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Johnson and Chairman Grassley:

This is in reply to your February 27, 2015, letter requesting information relating to the Farm Credit
Administration (FCA or Agency), Office of Inspector General (OIG). Information requested involves open
OIG recommendations; OIG reports provided to the Agency for comment but not responded to within
60 days; investigative reports on employees at a GS-15 level or above or equivalent; instances of
whistleblower retaliation; descriptions of attempts to interfere with IG independence; detailed
descriptions of instances in which the Agency has resisted or objected to oversight activities of the OIG
or restricted or significantly delayed access to information; and nonpublic, closed reports of
investigation, audit, or evaluation by the OIG.

We are providing the requested information for the reporting period dating from April 1, 2015, through
September 30, 2015, in conjunction with issuance of OIG’s Semiannual Report to the Congress for this
same time period.

Request No. 1: An accounting of all outstanding unimplemented recommendations, as well as the
aggregate potential cost savings of these open recommendations, including:
       a. The current number of open and unimplemented recommendations;
       b. The dates on which the open and unimplemented recommendations were initially made;
       c. Whether agency management has agreed or disagreed with the recommendations; and
       d. The total potential cost savings to the agency of the current open and unimplemented
           recommendations.
                                                                                                          2

    FCA OIG Response: All of OIG’s audit recommendations this reporting period consisted of agreed
    upon actions – actions that the Agency concurred with prior to issuance of the respective OIG audit
    reports. As of September 30, 2015, FCA OIG had 14 open agreed upon actions, and three of these
    closed after this reporting period ended on September 30, 2015. Therefore, as of the present,
    November 5, 2015, there are 11 agreed upon actions open in the Agency.

Request No. 2: A narrative description of all audits, evaluations, and investigations provided to the
agency for comment but not responded to within 60 days.

    FCA OIG Response: All OIG audit, evaluation, and investigation reports provided to the FCA during
    this reporting period were responded to within 60 days.

Request No. 3: A report on each investigation involving GS-15 level or above employees, or other
Federal pay scale equivalent employees, at a Federal agency or department where misconduct was
found, but no prosecution resulted, including:
        a. A detailed description of the facts and circumstances of the investigation; and
        b. A detailed description of the status and disposition of the matter, including whether there
            was a referral to the Department of Justice, the date of any such referral, whether there
            was a declination from the Department, the date of any such declination, and an
            explanation of the reasons for any such declination.

    FCA OIG Response: During this reporting period, OIG issued no reports finding misconduct by FCA
    employees at a Federal pay scale equivalent to a GS-15 level or above.

Request No. 4: Detailed descriptions of any instances of whistleblower retaliation, including
information about the official found to have engaged in retaliation and what, if any consequences, the
agency imposed to hold that official accountable. However, please seek whistleblower consent before
revealing any whistleblower's personally identifiable information to Congress.

    FCA OIG Response: OIG identified no instances of whistleblower retaliation within FCA or involving
    FCA employees during this reporting period.

Request No. 5: Detailed descriptions of any attempts to interfere with IG independence, including:
       a. Restricting communications between the IG office and Congress; and
       b. Budgetary constraints designed to limit the capabilities of the IG office.

    FCA OIG Response: OIG has had no instances of attempts to interfere with IG independence during
    this reporting period.

Request No. 6: A detailed description of any incident where the Federal agency or department, as
applicable, has resisted or objected to oversight activities of the IG office or restricted or significantly
delayed access to information, including the justification of the Federal agency or department for such
action.

    FCA OIG Response: During this reporting period, the Agency has cooperated in information and
    document requests, including providing access to Agency databases, written materials, and Agency
    employees for interviewing. OIG has had no instances in which the FCA resisted or objected to OIG
    oversight, or restricted or significantly delayed access to information. The FCA OIG has had no
    instances in which the Agency refused to provide, delayed, or restricted the Inspector General’s
    access to records or other information.
                                                                                                           3

Request No. 7: A detailed description of any investigation, evaluation, audit, or report that is closed
and was not disclosed to the public.

    FCA OIG Response: With respect to information on nonpublic, closed reports issued during this
    reporting period, all reports generated through OIG audits, inspections, and evaluations conducted
    during the period were publicly disclosed and are posted on my office’s public website at
    http://www.fca.gov/home/inspector/ig_reports.html. Our office also issued two Reports of
    Investigation for which Closing Memoranda have already been posted to my office’s website at:
    FCA OIG Investigations Closing Memoranda. These Reports of Investigation addressed the following:

        ·    OIG Report of Investigation No. 15-01 addressed an employee’s access to Equal Employment
             Opportunity counseling. The OIG issued this report of investigation on July 15, 2015, and
             referred the Report to FCA management for appropriate action. On July 31, 2015, the OIG
             was notified that FCA management had taken administrative action. The OIG Closing
             Memorandum is published online at: FCA OIG Report of Investigation No. 15-01 - Closing
             Memo.

        ·    OIG Report of Investigation No. 15-03 addressed questions regarding employee suitability
             adjudications by the FCA. The OIG completed its investigation on September 29, 2015, and
             the allegation was not substantiated. The OIG therefore issued OIG Report of Investigation
             No. 15-03, and by issuance of a Closing Memorandum, closed the investigation without
             further referral. The OIG Closing Memorandum is published online at: FCA OIG Report of
             Investigation No. 15-03 - Closing Memo.

        These Reports of Investigation were not publicly disclosed because they include information
        protected from public release under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a.

        During this time period, the FCA OIG also issued one Management Advisory to the FCA Board
        based on amendments to the Federal Records Act in 2014 that created new requirements for
        preservation of emails and text messages. To ensure compliance with these new legal
        mandates, OIG recommended that FCA implement procedures and issue policy statements in
        order to ensure FCA employees were notified of the new requirements; and to ensure FCA
        policies and procedures on use of the Internet, text messaging, and email as well as policies on
        use of Agency equipment, were consistent with these new mandates. In response, the Agency
        issued revised guidance to employees on record retention requirements relating to personal
        emails and text messaging, and also issued an “all hands” directive to all employees regarding
        the same mandates.

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Inspectors General, and please contact my office at (703)
883-4030, if we may further assist.

Sincerely,




Elizabeth M. Dean
Inspector General