Broadcasting Board Accused of Mishandling Contractor Taxes

Creativa/Shutterstock.com

The strategic management arm of the Broadcasting Board of Governors may be violating tax rules that require withholding of taxes from paychecks of thousands of full-time individual contractors, a blogger has charged, citing investigations by the Internal Revenue Service and the BBG’s inspector general.

BBG Watch, which is edited and published anonymously by volunteers with past or current ties to U.S. international broadcasting, wrote Thursday that the BBG’s International Broadcasting Bureau is “employing a large number of contractors as permanent employees, mainly at the Voice of America, and continuing to expose the agency and taxpayers to millions of dollars in liabilities.”

The blog post also asserted that bureau officials are covering up  tension over the issue by slow-walking Freedom of Information Act requests from private parties, the press and nongovernmental organizations—and by “silencing” internal critics.

The BBG, which recently restructured its management team in preparation for bringing in a chief executive officer, depends on contractors – mostly individuals rather than companies -- for flexibility when it needs, for example, certain foreign language skills or during suddenly-erupting overseas conflicts.

The BBG says it is addressing the complex issues of contractor pay procedures and the ongoing quest for efficiency, “though there is a lot more to be done,” Lynne Weil, director of communication and external affairs, told Government Executive. “While it is inappropriate to discuss confidential conversations of the board, the BBG is studying the matter of how we work with independent individual contractors. Questions about the procurement process have been raised, and we, of course, are working on them, which includes working with the Office of the Inspector General.”

During the past several years, Weil added, the agency has taken steps to promote the interests of its contractor workforce. These include administering a feedback questionnaire that identified 16 issues to be addressed; six brown-bag lunches at which BBG managers spoke face-to-face with contractors; the setting of contractor office hours and designation of a senior staff liaison to contractors, she said. 

(Image via Creativa/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
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
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

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