USAGM: Watchdog says “significant likelihood of violations”


According to CNN’s Wednesday and Wednesday letters, the space agency has instructed Michael Pack, chief executive of the U.S. Global Media Agency, to order an investigation into a taxpayer-funded agency allegedly tasked with “informing, pursuing” and connecting people around the world to support freedom and democracy. “and report to the Special Advisory Office.

A letter from the independent custody agency, signed by a lawyer from its retaliation and disclosure unit, received a complaint from six senior officials of the U.S. Global Media Agency alleging that Pack Pack had committed abuse of power and gross misconduct. The primary role of the Special Advisory Office is to protect “federal employees and applicants from retaliation for prohibited staffing practices, particularly for reporting abuse.”

The U.S. Global Media Agency, which oversees American Voice, Radio Free Europe / Radio Freedom, Radio Free Asia, the Middle East Broadcasting Network, and the Cuban Broadcasting Bureau, has been the subject of controversy since Pack, Trump’s appointment, took the lead. His actions involve scrutiny by lawmakers from both sides of the corridor.

The 32-page complaint filed earlier this year contained specific details of alleged breaches of duty by Pack and other political leadership, including breaches.

Among the allegations that the Special Advisory Office says should be investigated is whether the U.S. Global Media Agency is “(e) under serious misconduct and abuse of power”:

• the dismissal of the leaders of the broadcasting networks and the Open Technology Fund,

• the dismissal of the Board of Directors and “the replacement of these members of the Board of Directors largely by political appointment”

• “(r) empowering the various members of the USAGM Senior Executive Service (SES) and delegating those authorities to political appointments outside the competent agencies;”

• removal of Radio Free Asia Executive Editor and Voice of America Editor for news standards and best practices,

• suspension of the security clearances of the six senior officials,

• “(p) the unfolding of a number of offices critical to USAGM’s mission, including the Advocate General, the Chief Strategic, and Congressional and Public Affairs Offices, from communicating with outside parties without the express knowledge and consent of the front office.”

Pressure

The Special Advisory Bureau also called for an investigation into the alleged violation of the U.S. Voice Firewall, which aims to protect the agency’s news sites from undue influence and preserve their journalistic independence, by freezing admission to the agency, allegations that the agency “illegally redesigned, and put pressure on career staff to illegally use congressionally funded resources and programs without notifying Congress, “and refuse to allow non-U.S. journalists to renew their visas,” endangering the continuity of agency activities and the safety of those individuals. “

The letter notes that, based on the information in the complaint, “the OSC found a likelihood of significant crime,” but added that “our reference to the agency for investigation does not constitute a definitive finding that the allegations are well-founded. it shall not be submitted to the President and to Congress. “

CNN turned to the U.S. Global Media Agency for a comment.

Guardians launch investigation into U.S. Global Media Agency for alleged misconduct and retaliation

Pack’s agency activities were scrutinized by lawmakers on both sides of the congressional corridor. In September, he defied a congressional summons that forced him to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The move was condemned by President Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat and Michael McCaul, a senior Texas Republican.

A district judge ruled in late November that Pack and his team should stop the American Voice investigation and interference with journalists.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell found violating journalists ‘first amendment rights, “insofar as these violations involve defending or influencing defendants’ personal actions against individual journalists or editors, the journalist seeks to influence the content through communication with individual journalists or editors; investigation of alleged breaches of ethics. “

CNN Nicky Robertson contributed to the report.