July 21, 2013

Clinton State Dept. Bureau Blasted For Cronyism, Secrecy

The Clinton State Dept.’s Bureau of International Information Programs, which was the subject of a scathing Inspector General’sreport for wasting taxpayer funds to secure Facebook “likes” faces new scrutiny as it plans for a new coordinator in wake of Clinton’s departure:

Every government bureaucracy on the face of the Earth experiences turf wars, morale issues, infighting and red tape. Then there’s the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs.

Best known as the bureau that blew $630,000 on Facebook “likes,” IIP finds itself at a crossroads, sources tell The Cable, as it prepares to announce a new coordinator next month.

According to the Inspector General, the Bureau suffers from a “pervasive perception of cronyism,” “an atmosphere of secrecy, suspicion and uncertain” and a “toxic” atmosphere:

This new technocrat will attempt to address a scathing Inspector General report from May describing a “pervasive perception of cronyism” at the bureau where “leadership fostered an atmosphere of secrecy, suspicion and uncertainty” and where staff “describe the … atmosphere as toxic and leadership’s tolerance of dissenting views as non-existent.” One might assume a massive overhaul is needed, but employees already complain of “reorganization fatigue” from previous attempts to reorganize the bureau.

 

“It’s the redheaded stepchild of public diplomacy,” said a former congressional staffer with knowledge of the bureau.“The head of it isn’t even an assistant secretary. That doesn’t sound like much. But when you’re trying to throw your weight around the State Department, it matters. Why should people take you seriously? You have a shitty budget, you have a crappy product and you don’t even have to be congressionally confirmed.”