BBG Watch

"What this shows is that the agency is essentially within the same range that it has been from the beginning of these Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Federal Employee Viewpoint Surveys (FEVS), one former Voice of America (VOA) broadcaster who wishes not to be identified said about the 2015 BBG FEVS results. "That equates with no change at all, in effect. Motion without movement," a former BBG employee concluded.

In the 2015 FEVS Employee Engagement Index of (Leaders Lead, Supervisors, Work Experience) the BBG was second from last in all three categories.

In the 2015 Global Satisfaction Index (Recommend the Agency As A Place to Work, Job Satisfaction, Pay Satisfaction, and Organizational Satisfaction) the BBG was 36 out of 37 federal agencies.

A even more harsh assessment of BBG management came from a former BBG member who also prefers not to be named.

"All this despite Matt Armstrong's [a Republican BBG Board member] and Jeff Shell’s [BBG Board Democratic Chairman]constant assertions that it was always someone else’s fault, but that they have set it all right," a former BBG member said.

The new board under Chairman Shell's leadership has been in place for about two years.

While former VOA director David Ensor had left the agency earlier this year, most key VOA and BBG's International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executives have remained.

The new BBG Board was unable to fill the CEO position for many months after Andy Lack departed only after a few weeks after taking the job last year. The position of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) president has not been filled for more than a year among reports of deteriorating performance and management problems at the BBG grantee media outlet still considered better managed than either VOA or IBB, which are federal entities together with the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB - Radio and TV Marti).

For most of the period under the 2015 FEVS review, the BBG was led by a three-person management team. The interim acting CEO was Andre Mendes. VOA's director during that time was David Ensor.

Non-federal BBG entities, such as RFE/RL, Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN - Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa) are not included by the Office of Personnel Management in the FEVS surveys.


Recommend Organization


2014 FEVS Results

According to the Partnership for Public Service, which uses data from the Office of Personnel Management's Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, the Broadcasting Board of Governors described in 2013 by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ex officio BBG member as "practically defunct" in its ability to deliver news from the United States to audiences abroad and to tell America's story, has registered in 2014 (the previous rating period) yet another decline in overall employee satisfaction, strategic management and leadership.


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