WT LogoThe Washington Times reports that “the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the more than $700 million international media arm of the federal government, is facing an IRS audit over its longstanding policy of using purchase orders to hire hundreds of journalists, according to records.”

The article written by Jim McElhatton quotes former BBG member Ambassador Victor Ashe urging current BBG board members to treat contract employees fairly.

The BBG element, which administers these contracts, is the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). However, VOA executives have worked closely with IBB executives to hire hundreds of contract employees at low pay, without any benefits or protections, and without withholding taxes and paying tax contributions required from employers. These contractors are for all practical purposes full-time employees, doing exactly the same work as many of VOA’s federal employees, and subject to the same supervisory controls and work hours. Some of them have been working in this status for VOA and IBB for many years. They are undrerpayed, exploited and unprotected by labor laws. The Obama Administration should not tolerate this appalling practice any longer and hold IBB and VOA executives responsible for this accountable.

Read more: Government media board facing inquiry over hiring protocol, Jim McElhatton, The Washington Times, May 3, 2014.