Today, the State Department Office of Inspector General released its Compliance Follow-up Review of the Department’s choice of a third-party contractor to assist the Department in preparing the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project. We have been pleased to work with the Office of Inspector General during this process.
The Review found that our processes not only avoided conflicts of interest, but were more rigorous than required. We welcome findings in this Review that “the process used to assess organizational conflicts of interest was effective” and that the Department’s process to select Environmental Resources Management “substantially followed and at times was more rigorous than its prescribed Guidance.”
We continue to work to improve and strengthen the procedures for selecting third-party contractors and assessing potential conflicts of interest. We welcome the recommendations in the OIG’s Review that will contribute to improved guidelines, documentation, and sharing of information. As noted in the OIG Review, we had already begun implementing changes in our process consistent with some of the recommendations, and we look forward to further implementing these recommendations.