Hillary's reputation for competence as Secretary of State erodes from within

Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State continues to draw internal criticism.

The former Secretary of State is coy about her 2016 POTUS candidacy intentions, but the department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) continues to identify administrative incompetence concerning financial and information security matters during her tenure.

In an October 6, 2014 Washington Times article entitled “State Dept. inspector general: “More evidence of rampant mismanagement under Hillary Clinton,” T. Becket Adams reported that, “The State Department's Office of Inspector General has released another ‘management alert’ detailing rampant mismanagement within the agency, much of it during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure.”

Here’s a summary of each of the three “management alerts:”

(1) The first surfaced in a November 12, 2013 memorandum from the DOS’s Inspector General (IG), Steve A. Linick two months after he became the IG. The subject line of the memo reads: “Management Alert: OIG Findings of Significant and Recurring Weaknesses in the Department of State Information System Security Program (AUD-IT-14-04).”

The first paragraph outlines the “weaknesses”:

The Department of State (Department) is entrusted to safeguard sensitive information, which is often the target of terrorist and criminal organizations.  Cyber attacks against government organizations appear to be on the rise, including state-sponsored efforts to exploit U.S. Government information security vulnerabilities. The Department is responsible for preserving and protecting classified information vital to the preservation of national security in high risk environments across the globe. The Department also undertakes significant numbers of financial and other transactions, including, for instance, the daily collection of millions of dollars in consular fees.  In addition the Department maintains records on approximately 192 million current passports, which contain such sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) as dates of birth and social security numbers. To protect this information, the Department must ensure that its Information System Security Program and management control structure are operationally effective.”

In short, Hillary’s DOS didn’t adequately safeguard sensitive information.

(2) The second “management alert” concerns missing documents relating to $6 billion of Department of State (DOS) contracts during Hillary’s tenure.

This alert attracted more attention that (1).  It has been the subject of American Thinker coverage here, here, and here.

(3) This third alert came in a September 26, 2014 memorandum from Linick with the subject line: “Management Alert (Grants Management Deficiencies).” The introduction to the document reads:

“The management and oversight of grants poses heightened financial risk to the Department of State (Department). In FY 2012, the Department obligated more than $1.6 billion for approximately 14,000 grants and cooperative agreements worldwide. This is a significant outlay of funds, which makes oversight and accountability of the funds even more critical.

Grants present special oversight challenges because, unlike contracts, grants do not generally require the recipient to deliver any specific good or service to the government. The Department uses them to award assistance to individuals and organizations for a variety of purposes, such as fostering educational and cultural exchanges with citizens of other countries, promoting democracy and civil society, facilitating refugee resettlement, combating human trafficking, and developing the law-enforcement and justice-system capabilities of other nations.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and other oversight agencies have identified a number of significant deficiencies in the grant-management process. Indeed, OIG has designated the management of grants, contracts, and cooperative and interagency agreements as one of the Department’s major management challenges each year from fiscal year 2008. Furthermore, nearly 40 percent of OIG inspections of all types issued since 2010 have identified specific grant-management deficiencies in the inspected entity, even though not all inspected entities managed grants. Audits conducted by OIG have reported similar deficiencies, including insufficient oversight caused by too few staff managing too many grants, insufficient training of grant officials, and inadequate documentation and closeout of grant activities.”

In short, the OIG accuses the Hillary DOS of insufficient oversight concerning the expenditure of $1,600,000,000 spread out in 14,000 grants sent all over the planet. 

During the six years before Linick became the IG in September 2013, the position was unfilled.

So, what’s behind all the scrutiny now concerning the operations of Hillary’s DOS?  After all, what difference at this point does it make, anyway?

Is it because there is finally an OIG to conduct inspections?  And, why didn’t Hillary fill the position years ago?

Linick was Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division Fraud Section, and Executive Director of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force at the Department of Justice. 

Might John Kerry be softening up a potential key primary opponent in the event he decides to run for the Presidency in 2016?

In any regard, this growing litany of “management alerts” dating back to her time as Secretary of State will weaken any claims Hillary makes concerning her achievements in that position.