The Cable

Shortest State Department OIG report ever

The Broadcasting Board of Governors has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism lately. The agency’s efforts in Iran, especially, have come under fire, as well as the way the home office in Washington, D.C. has been managed. But in the most concise report your humble Cable guy has ever seen coming ...

The Broadcasting Board of Governors has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism lately. The agency’s efforts in Iran, especially, have come under fire, as well as the way the home office in Washington, D.C. has been managed.

But in the most concise report your humble Cable guy has ever seen coming out of the Office of the Inspector General, the oversight board reported Thursday that as far as the BBG’s operations in Pakistan are concerned, everything is cool.

"Discussions with BBG staff in Washington during the survey phase revealed no outstanding issues. Discussions with the staff at the office in Islamabad found a staff engaged and proud of their accomplishments," the one-page report stated. "The VOA bureau chief was satisfied with Washington support (he is extending for a second year): the contractors for the Urdu service were satisfied with their terms of employment, their working conditions, and the work itself."

Any room for improvement?

"The OIG team, then, found no issues that require recommendations."

An OIG report with zero recommendations is pretty unusual. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that this was a severely limited investigation. The OIG team visited the BBG’s Islamabad bureau for one day in February. "Because of security concerns, this was a limited-scope inspection," the report said. 

The team did not review financial records and also did not talk to the BBG’s Pakistani broadcast partners, again, "for security reasons."

In a letter to BBG executive director Jeff Trimble, Assistant Inspector General for Inspections Robert B. Peterson wrote, "The report contains no recommendations because, overall, the work of the Broadcasting Board of Governors Operations in Islamabad is being performed well."

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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