BBG Watch Commentary
BBG Watch has learned that Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Chief Financial Officer, Leslie Hyland, was given a full-time assignment to ensure compliance on financial matters, including dealing with serious violations recently revealed by the Office of the Inspector General in Audit of the Broadcasting Board of Governors Administration and Oversight of Acquisition Functions.
OIG notified BBG that it had reportable violations of the Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA). First, BBG awarded contracts that were personal in nature, resulting in BBG exceeding its statutory authority to award personal services contracts (PSC). Second, BBG’s use of contract pre-approval allowed contractors to work without having valid contracts or secured funding in place, resulting in reportable violations of two provisions of the ADA. The use of contract pre approval also resulted in $431,502 of funding that was not certified prior to the start of the contractor’s period of performance, $51,140 of which was not available when the contractor began performance.
OIG found a number of additional areas in which BBG had not complied with Federal regulations related to procurement. Specifically, we found that BBG had not adequately complied with pre-solicitation requirements, namely acquisition planning and market research. BBG also did not adequately promote full and open competition when soliciting for offers or awarding contracts, did not adequately determine that contract prices were fair and reasonable, and did not perform contractor responsibility determinations. We also determined that BBG acquisitions reflected little or no competition largely because program offices, rather than CON, controlled the acquisition process. As a result, BBG did not have reasonable assurance that its needs were met in the most effective, economical, and timely manner. In addition, OIG identified $419,020 in funds that could have been put to better use in relation to contracts that were never executed, possibly because of lack of planning, and $3.5 million in questioned costs because of unsupported contract pricing.
READ MORE: Audit of the Broadcasting Board of Governors Administration and Oversight of Acquisition Functions, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND THE BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS, OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL, June 2014.
While Ms. Hyland is detailed to her new assignment, André Mendes will be Acting CFO, a source told BBG Watch. Leslie Hyland joined the BBG as Chief Financial Officer in only July 2013.
Only BBG could claim this is success. A new assignment is found for Ms. Hyland while Mendes who already has more to do than one person can do as Director of Global Operations has the interim CFO on top of all of this. It’s a federal agency in crisis. Mendes already manages, supervises and directs the IBB Chief of Staff, the Office of Technology, Services and Innovation (TSI) and serves as program administrator for the grants made to the BBG-sponsored grantees.
In a recent comment about the agency’s responses to contracting and management irregularities at the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) highlighted in the OIG report, former BBG member, Ambassador Victor Ashe, said:
VICTOR ASHE: “It is re arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic after the iceberg hit.” “The best solution is passage of the bipartisan reform legislation sponsored by Congressmen Royce and Engel,” he added. “Otherwise tax dollars will continue to be wasted at BBG in too many areas,” Ambassador Ashe observed.