By JAKE WIENS
POGO has obtained the Special Review of the Keystone XL Pipeline conducted by the State Department Office of Inspector General, which is due to be made public tomorrow. An early report by Politico said the review found “no evidence of conflict of interest, bias or other wrongdoing in the State Department’s review of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.”
The finding is sure to be heavily scrutinized by the Members of Congress who requested the review. The scrutiny will likely be amplified because the State Department has been without a permanent IG for a staggering 1485 days, as POGO showed in its “Where Are All the Watchdogs?” IG vacancy tracker released yesterday.
Speaking of the importance of permanent IGs, POGO told Corporate Counsel magazine yesterday that IG findings often lack credibility when released by an office run by an acting IG. “If Members of Congress or the public are going to push for an investigation into high-ranking officials committing misconduct, it only works if all sides think the investigation is independent and credible,” POGO said.
POGO has previously raised concerns about the independence of the State Department's acting inspector general.
Jake Wiens is a POGO Investigator.