Westerman Continues Urging DEO Audit
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 31, 2023 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) sent a letter to Department of the Interior Inspector General Mark Greenblatt, following up on prior requests urging a full audit of the Departmental Ethics Office and highlighting flaws related to Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director Nada Culver's disclosures. In part, Westerman wrote:
"Other documents obtained by the Committee further call into question the DEO’s thoroughness and efficacy. First, an email dated February 24, 2021, reveals that at least one senior BLM official was aware that Ms. Culver’s former employment with TWS would trigger a potential recusal. An attachment in the email specifies that Ms. Culver was employed by TWS [The Wilderness Society] from October 2003 to May 2019. BLM’s clear awareness of Ms. Culver’s potential conflicts of interest due to her former employment at TWS raises significant concerns about the DEO’s failure to include the former employer in Ms. Culver’s initial interim ethics guidance on March 11, 2021...
"The questions surrounding Ms. Culver’s compliance with her ethical obligations are indicative of potential systemic inadequacies at the DEO. Until an audit of DEO is completed, questions remain as to whether the DEO is creating complete, accurate ethics guidance or providing clear advice to DOI employees. Finally, these emails compound the need for the OIG to determine the steps the DEO takes to independently verify information provided by political appointees, if any are taken at all."Read the full letter here.
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