Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

An IG Report So Shocking You'll Never Read About It

ARCHIVES
Flickr user Marcin Wichary

A new Defense Department inspector general report is destined for obscurity. Its contents are unlikely to draw news coverage and will not be discussed at the highest levels of the department -- or anywhere else, for that matter. 

Is there a cover-up at work here? Does this report reveal something so sinister that shadowy forces will ensure it never sees the light of day? Hardly. In fact, the reason for the report's pre-ordained obscurity lies in its title: "Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Ethics Program Met Federal Government Standards." 

You read that right. Alert the media: After an extensive investigation, IG auditors concluded that a federal agency did something right. "The DARPA ethics policies and program implementation were consistent with federal government conflict-of-interest mitigation standards, and the DARPA personnel we selected for review were properly trained and followed DARPA policies," the IG reported."In the last three years, DARPA officials issued standard ethics guidance and operating procedures that implemented ethics laws and regulations."

Ahh, but what about allegations that came in via an IG hotline about an improper revolving door between DARPA and contractor BAE Systems? It turns out there was a notable non-scandal there, too: "We determined that the program management and contract award process participation of the DARPA employees who formerly worked for BAE Systems or its subsidiary, AlphaTech (BAE/AlphaTech), did not create a conflict-of-interest between the two entities. In addition, DARPA did not award BAE Systems contracts as a result of undue influence from former BAE employees in DARPA’s Information Innovation Office."

You can be sure that if this report found evidence of conflicts of interest, undue influence, or even a failure to train employees and follow established procedures, you'd be hearing about it. And make no mistake: Staying on top of myriad federal ethics requirements is no mean feat. So before this report assumes its destined position on a dusty bookshelf, it's worth taking note of it. Because the audits and investigations showing that an agency did something right are the ones that generally attract no attention whatsoever.

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.