UPDATE (April 19, 2022): Empower Oversight requested further documentation from the DOS-OIG including copies of all reports of investigation prepared by the DOS-OIG relating to allegations of whistleblower retaliation within the USAGM, all records relating to communications between DOS-OIG personnel and Capitol Hill about Michael Pack, and records relating to communications between DOS-OIG and USAGM personnel about Michael Pack. Empower Oversight has received no communications from the DOS-OIG more than 80 business days after the organization was told that the office needed more time to provide any responsive documents.
Transmitted: December 9, 2021
To: FOIA Officer, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of State
Full Request: Department of State OIG FOIA Status Request (PDF)
RE: Freedom of Information Act Request for Records Related to DOS-OIG Review of Alleged Whistleblower Retaliation and National Security Concerns at USAGM
Empower Oversight filed a FOIA request with the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of State (DOS-OIG) regarding alleged whistleblower retaliation and national security concerns at USAGM.
According to the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM), for years, the USAGM has consistently fallen short in enacting needed reforms to its security clearance screening process. After a new CEO, Michael Pack, was appointed in June 2020, he sought to enact such reforms. However, six employees alleged that actions taken with regard to their security clearances were in retaliation for protected whistleblowing.
Although the State Department Inspector General reportedly found in their favor, the reports do not appear to have been made public. Thus, Empower Oversight is seeking all reports of investigation from DOS-OIG on this matter from June 2020 through January 21, 2021, all records relating to communications between DOS-OIG and Capitol Hill about Pack, and any communications between DOS-OIG personnel and USAGM personnel about Pack.