Alleged activities include leaking sensitive information

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after the State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report that concludes there was the appearance of undue influence and favoritism in three of eight Diplomatic Security investigations originally examined by the OIG.  This, it says, “undermines public confidence in the integrity of the Department and its leaders.”

Chairman Royce said:  "The unusual role played by State Department top management handling these internal investigations of potential criminal acts is disturbing.  I am pleased that the Department’s new Inspector General, Mr. Linick, took it upon himself to reexamine this issue.  It is clear that the previous examination of these serious allegations was insufficient at best.  It looks like a suspect process was given cover by a suspect IG report.

“Today’s report demonstrates why having a permanent Inspector General is critical to overseeing government operations. Unfortunately, the State Department lacked this accountability during the first five years of this Administration.  With no top cop on the beat for nearly 2,000 days, I’m not surprised that management went off the rails in this case.

“Luckily that’s not the case today. I’m proud of the role that the Committee played – on a bipartisan basis – to get a permanent Inspector General in place to oversee the State Department’s operations."

Note:  The Committee urged the swift nomination of a permanent Inspector General in a bipartisan letter to Secretary Kerry on February 4, 2013.  Chairman Royce later pressed Secretary Kerry on this matter during a congressional hearing on April 17, 2013.  Secretary Kerry acknowledged the five-year gap and committed that he would "get this done."  President Obama nominated Steve Linick to fill the post on June 27, 2013, and the Senate confirmed him on September 17, 2013.

On June 10, 2013, reports indicated that State Department officials may have inappropriately intervened in investigations of improper activities.  These alleged activities included the leaking of sensitive information and other potentially criminal and administrative misconduct at diplomatic facilities abroad.  On June 11 and 13, 2013, the Committee wrote the Department and the Office of the Inspector General requesting details about allegations of undue influence.  The letter to Acting Inspector General Harold Geisel also probed whether his office intentionally withheld pertinent information from Congress on this matter.  The State Department and the Office of the Inspector General assured the Committee in 2013 that these allegations were unsubstantiated and without merit.  Inspector General Linick's report refutes those assertions.