If it doesn’t work out, please give me the option of sending you an email telling you I would prefer not to renew my agreement with BPA for All rights reserved About Us. Anita Decker, BPA’s former chief operating officer, testified a year ago at a Congressional hearing into hiring problems at the Bonneville Power Administration. The redaction effectively erased the guts of who allegedly said what to whom. Agency spokesman Doug Johnson said BPA was still reviewing the outside investigation and audits of its hiring practices that were released this fall. Seven months later, it issued a final response, saying it found responsive pages.
When Drummond was suspended, Williams pivoted to backstop Elliot Mainzer , a relative political rookie. The agency initially failed to meet the day deadline. Last fall, the Department of Energy allowed Drummond and Decker back into their locked offices to remove personal effects. The manager prefaced his memo by saying he simply wanted to share his thoughts in advance of a meeting with investigators. Mainzer was amenable until mid-November, urging Williams to become “more formally integrated into the team” and telling him they would run with the new fee structure for a year, then evaluate. BPA redacted the pages of material before release, claiming some of it raised privacy concerns or amounted to privileged, interagency memorandums exempt from disclosure.
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A week later, about the time when BPA’s legal department would have begun exploring the personal emails, the renewal began to look dicey, which Mainzer apparently conveyed in a voice message. But it appears that the practice was longstanding, and that the consultant, Tony Williams, subtly coached at least one BPA administrator on how to keep their communications private.
Indeed, Williams insinuated himself deeper into BPA’s executive suite than ever before, offering to help manage Mainzer’s schedule, serve as the third wheel in all public relations efforts, and help staff coordinate a kind of multi-pronged political campaign to rehabilitate the agency’s image.
Afterwards, BPA went through discarded material and found a copy of an email from Williams to Drummond’s personal account. That uncovered personal email between Williams and all three administrators. Williams responded in an email to Mainzer.
The pattern escalated when Mainzer succeeded Drummond. The use of personal email accounts apparently came to light after Bill Drummond’s departure from the agency. Investigations and audits released last fall found massive dysfunction in BPA’s human resources department, violations of veterans hiring preferences and some evidence that executives ignored or tolerated allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers.
I just had a feeling my contract wouldn’t be easy For instance, the agency responded to The Oregonian’s request for a memo sent to the agency’s current administrator, Elliot Mainzer, from a hiring manager accused of ongoing retaliation against a whistleblower. Williams’ pending contract extension, wattch his pitch for increased fees, were consistently background themes.
The agency has released a few records to The Oregonian relating to its hiring problems, but those too have been heavily redacted to remove relevant material.
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, selitman, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Oregon Live LLC. All of the individuals involved declined to discuss their motivations in using the private accounts.
If it doesn’t work out, please give me the option of sending you an email telling you I would prefer not to renew my agreement with BPA for He went on seligmaan outline the services he could provide Drummond, including opinion-leader networking, a “regional and D.
Mainzer was amenable until mid-November, urging Williams to become “more formally integrated into the team” and telling him they would run with the new fee sdligman for a year, then evaluate. Yet BPA has refused to release the credit card statements of a senior executive who was reportedly taking personal cash advances on the card, saying there is no public interest in the information and that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
In the end, BPA failed to meet three separate target release dates watvh Drummond’s emails. BPA plays a selivman role in the Northwest economy, but has been struggling to patch its reputation and regain decision-making autonomy that was curtailed by the U.
That revelation prompted BPA’s legal department to send letters in December asking Wright, Drummond and current Administrator Elliot Mainzer to disgorge all email and attachments in their personal accounts dealing with agency business. But Craig Holman, a lobbyist with the government watchdog group Public Citizen, sfligman subsequent interpretations by the U.
In Julyfor example, The Oregonian requested the emails of former BPA Administrator Bill Drummond — one of the two ousted executives — in order to shed light on his knowledge of, or role in, the hiring scandal, as well as his sudden suspension.
The Oregonian’s request bppa Wright’s BPA emails concerning the hiring scandal and subsequent investigation — most of which occurred on his watch — yielded only a handful of emails.
It withheld pages and released 42 pages but heavily redacted them, citing privacy and the protection of interagency memos that would not normally be available to wxtch outside discovery in a lawsuit.
Public agencies are required to respond to records requests awtch the Freedom of Information Act within 20 working days. Steve Wright in file photo. This is a complicated request dn an equally complicated matter and accuracy is of the utmost importance. They also paint a vivid picture of behind-the-scenes political maneuvering at a critical juncture daan the Portland-based power-marketing agency.
Other executives, including former Administrator Steve Wright and its acting director Elliot Mainzer, have suggested essentially the same thing — that the actions were wrong and lamentable, but that veterans were never targeted.
BPA and U.S. DOE avoid disclosure of public records on Bonneville’s hiring scandal – again
BPA managers have acknowledged instituting informal hiring practices for efficiency purposes that inadvertently discriminated against veterans and other applicants, but maintain there was never any specific intention to exclude veterans.
BPA has never provided any written explanation for its ongoing delays beyond the fact that they seligmaj complex and in some cases, necessitated consultation with other agencies. She has since retired and could not be reached for comment. She subsequently resigned from the agency, which has so far refused to release her emails related to the scandal. The allegations were made in a letter addressed to U.
Drummond and BPA’s chief operating officer, Anita Decker, were forced out of the agency after DOE investigators determined that they knew about and tolerated retaliation against whistleblowers at the agency, despite reportedly receiving specific instructions from Deputy U. All rights reserved About Us.
Department of Energy, continue to shield themselves from public scrutiny by systematically blocking and delaying the release of related public selivman. The Oregonian appealed that denial, and the DOE last week remanded the decision to BPA so it could provide a more thorough explanation of its denial.
Mainzer sent out an all-employee message after the records were released last week acknowledging his personal email use, and admonishing them to follow the federal guidelines with respect to their own personal accounts. When Drummond was suspended, Williams pivoted to backstop Elliot Mainzera relative political rookie.
The Oregonian alone has seven requests pending, some of them more than a year old, with no sign that the agency is any closer to making a substantive response.
Publications | Daniel Seligman
In early February, Williams thanked Drummond for being included on the panel. We need to find out more. The Federal Anti-Lobbying Act of expressly prohibits agencies use of public funds to lobby federal officials or influence policy.
But private email accounts can fall outside an agency’s oversight.