Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pearlie Reed Resigns

Government Executive piece on his resignation for "personal reasons", though the piece notes an audit of the grant management process in the Office of Advocacy and Outreach. (Washington bureaucrats are often cynical about such coincidences.)  Supposedly there's no connection and Vilsack was supportive. However, the audit found procedures weren't followed and stated:
In summary, we are recommending that OAO not award grants to the 57 applicants at this time. We maintain that an independent review panel should reevaluate the applications to ensure that the most deserving applicants will be awarded grants. Due to the sensitivity of this issue and the timing of the proposed awards, we are providing our preliminary results to you for immediate corrective action. This issue, along with any others identified during our fieldwork, will be consolidated into a final report at the conclusion of our audit.
OIG was requested to do the audit in April, so there must have been some backstory to this.   Reed signed the response to OIG, essentially agreeing with it. In defense of the head of OAO he notes she was new and is identifying weaknesses in the office.  Of course there's a long history of GAO/OIG reports critical of the Departmental administration in this area.  Since Reed has been the big boss for 3 years, it's perhaps fair to ask what previous corrective actions he had taken.

The audit is critical of the "approving official"in OAO, but I'm not clear who it was.   It mentions: "The official also solicited input from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and the Office of Tribal Relations."

Mr. Reed is still listed on the USDA biographies page as Assistant Secretary for Administration, but the link to his bio is dead.  An out-of-date bio is still available by searching: link  There's no press release noted on the USDA site.

I'm sure our Republican friends will be all over this.


  1. All tied to Reed, and Bennie Thompson and friends....all within USDA. Pearlie's minions run Outreach and Advocacy....

    1. Pearlie Reed is one of the most thoughtful and dedicated employees the USDA has ever seen. More than 30 years as a career employee, rising through the ranks and proving himself to be a leader at every turn. He's a hero and an example of what a career employee should be. He has taken on hundreds of challenges over the years and made a difference for all Americans.

      He should be honored, not vilified.

  2. Approving official is Carolyn Parker...

  3. She has been at OAO over a year, and is the top minion....

  4. How does a Presidential Appointee retire? Wouldn't that be a resignation? Was the term retirement used because it looks less fishy then resignation?

    If the approving official was Carolyn Parker, how come she is referred to as "new"? She is not new to USDA grant making procedures or Federal government grant making procedures. She was the director of other grant programs. See this link:

  5. Few Presidential appointees have the career service needed to "retire" so I can't think of a parallel case.

    I assume Ms Parker was called "new" meaning "new in the position", how new I don't know. I haven't looked closely at the report to know whether she was the approving official or not.