By JEFFREY LEVINE, The Washington Post • July 29, 2019 07:48:20The federal government has had some time to plan, prepare and execute.
It has been the focus of an internal audit that was released Tuesday.
The auditor, which was hired by the Treasury Department’s inspector general for fiscal year 2019, said it found that some Treasury employees had engaged in a “pattern or practice of misconduct” while they were in the agency.
The department had hired an outside firm to conduct the audit, and the inspector general will determine whether to pursue the matter with federal regulators.
“We’re going to find that we did things wrong,” said Inspector General Michael Ferguson, who will be leading the audit.
“The Treasury Department, through the inspector, has identified and remedied those problems.”
But, the inspector said, the department’s “attitude to ensure that our employees are complying with the law has been woefully deficient.”
The inspector general also found that the Treasury department was “failure to implement” its own hiring practices.
The agency hired the firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to audit the agency, which is led by Steven Miller, who also heads the Office of Inspector General.
In a letter sent to Miller on July 22, the Treasury inspector general said he was investigating whether Treasury’s hiring policies were properly followed and whether it was “effective in protecting the public interest.”
Miller has since resigned.
“You and I have been tasked with reviewing all of the department of the Treasury’s processes and policies regarding hiring and retaining employees, and our agency is working diligently to implement those policies,” the inspector General wrote.
The letter was sent a day after the department was hit with a record $3.8 billion deficit, and it comes as the department has been facing a $2.5 trillion deficit. “
If you are unable to effectively respond to this letter, I am not prepared to recommend further action.”
The letter was sent a day after the department was hit with a record $3.8 billion deficit, and it comes as the department has been facing a $2.5 trillion deficit.
The government had been facing $2 billion a day in deficit, the first time it had done so since 2008.
The inspector’s office said it was looking into “whether the department could have made the hiring decisions that it did with greater clarity and more transparency.”
The department was criticized by the inspector generals office for failing to do a thorough audit of its hiring practices, and for failing “to effectively implement policies and procedures to identify and remove personnel who engaged in improper conduct.”
It also criticized the department for not hiring a single officer who could have been responsible for making a “proper investigation” of those employees who violated their own hiring policies.
“This audit, if not properly conducted and implemented, could have contributed to our fiscal situation, as we are currently operating with a $1.9 trillion deficit and a significant backlog of hiring and retention policies,” Miller said in a statement.
“Given the severity of the problems identified, I will no longer serve as a Treasury employee.”
The government has a backlog of 2.5 million people and a $14.5 billion budget deficit, according to a September 2019 report from the Government Accountability Office.
It also has about $10.3 billion in debt, according the inspector’s report.
The Office of Personnel Management has said it will hire about 3,000 new employees this year, with an additional 3,200 in the coming weeks.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to address a Congressional hearing later Tuesday on the government’s finances.
He has said the Treasury would not seek a government bailout, but that he would like Congress to act to address what he calls “a systemic problem.”