Questions on U.S. AID Comments

Gao ID: NSIAD-94-257R August 11, 1994

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO interviewed an Agency for International Development (AID) official about his comments on a GAO report concerning inadequate controls over political appointee records, focusing on: (1) the extent and source of his knowledge of the Bush Administration's political appointee files at the Department of State and AID; and (2) whether others shared his views and knowledge of the files and their retrieval. GAO noted that: (1) the AID official had no knowledge of the files other than what was contained in the GAO draft report; (2) his comment that the Bush Administration failed to properly segregate the files was based on the draft and the lack of support from the Bush Administration during the transition; (3) White House liaison staff were instructed to contact agency personnel offices about personnel functions and position descriptions to facilitate the political appointment process; (4) the personnel files of some key people who remained at AID were updated and reviewed to ensure that personnel actions were complete and to determine if they were in the appropriate political or technical positions; (5) the AID official had no first hand knowledge of why the White House liaison staff retrieved State personnel files, but he thought it was because of the Bush Administration's failure to leave adequate records; and (6) the official's comments did not reflect any other person's views or knowledge of the files.

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