Tuesday, May 13, 2014


UPDATE: We first published our observations concerning the DHS OIG's office back in June of 2013 as word of investigations into alleged misdeeds by the then acting Inspector General reached the general media. The acting official of last June has been replaced as well as a few key staffers. We've updated our original coverage with what we know to date. 
6/29/2013 Merchant Marine Interest /Updated May 13 , 2014./No Changes to Report 3/15/2015
Update 8/30/2016 The NMA watch dog of maritime watch dogs closed its doors since the last update. Only the public and the media are available to watch  the watch dogs. Things at the DHS OIG office seem to continue mostly unimproved, though quite a few of the senior staff have been changed out since this post was first published. We predict that if Hillary is elected there will be no change, otherwise we will revisit this issue after the 2016 Presidential election. 
6/14/2017 Trump won but little has changed. Real change in the nature of the DHS OIG's office is dependent on elimination of the residual Obama "Deep State", which is what Trump is talking about when he speaks of "draining the swamp". We are hopeful but not optimistic, the "progressives" are in all attack mode so delivering on his campaign promises will be more difficult than anyone imagined, but Mr. Trump does seem determined. Whenever you see this lap dog developing teeth, you'll know a lot of dry ground has appeared in the swamp. 

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  Boxer Dog      WATCH DOG      Dog        Or LAP DOG?


(June 2013) The Media Finally Publishes The Tip Of The Ice Burg Of Corruption The National Mariner's Association Has Long Suspected Existed In The Department Of Homeland Security's Office Of The Inspector General.

 The National Mariner's Association (NMA) has often been featured in these pages for the altruistic work that it does for America's merchant seamen, especially those employed in the Jones Act trades on vessels under 1600 gross tons admeasurement where unions are virtually never present. Several years ago NMA Secretary Capt. Richard Block publicly advocated giving up on all attempts to reform certain Coast Guard programs and policies that damaged the Jones Act trades and Jones Act seamen especially in the "workboat trades" such as towing and off shore oil industry support services through appeal to the Coast Guard or the DHS including the DHS Inspector General's Office. Instead the NMA decided to start appealing directly to Congress.

  We carried in these pages the news of how their second appeal to Congress for such safety regulatory reforms as enforcement of existing working and hour regulations, and the long over due formal limitation to 12 hour work days for all crew members. As previously reported a distracted and squabbling Congress did nothing. We reported on such issues as apparent corruption in the Coast Guard's Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) system, the mess at the National Mariners Center, the removal of the professional mariner examination question base from public scrutiny, the run away and ill conceived medical NAVIC that has virtually outlawed middle age from the Merchant Marine. The NMA at one time or another pushed to the Inspector General's Office of Homeland Security the idea of investigating or auditing these programs within the Coast Guard. What came out of the Inspector General's Office was mostly no action, or reports that the NMA considered a "white wash".

  The NMA requested for at least six years that the Inspector General audit the Coast Guard's accident reports as the NMA had convincing evidence that marine accident reports are under reported to the Coast Guard. Eventually an audit was commissioned on this subject but nothing of consequence came out. The audit drew no attention despite the overwhelming evidence available, including a comparison of litigated on record maritime personal injury cases that met the criteria of the Code of Federal Regulations as "reportable accidents" that indicated only about 3 in 100 reportable accidents are in fact reported by the work boat industry. NMA complaints of Coast Guard corruption, mismanagement, and just plain ineptitude have gone unanswered for decades resulting in the publication of countless well prepared documented NMA reports numbered and organized that can be accessed by law enforcement, government watch dogs and the media.(update) Despite direct documentary evidence supplied to the DHS IG Office of Audits by the NMA the final report on the audit of accident reporting produced no evidence that the ratio of reported to unreported accidents was anywhere near 1:100 or worse. Indeed the report produced little if anything of consequence. We have come to expect exactly such performances from the inept office of audits on virtually anything related to agency performance matters especially anything of a maritime character. 

 Last June CNN's THE LEAD with Jack Tapper  actually published a story detailing an investigation into the personal conduct of the then acting Inspector General of the DHS Charles Edwards by Congressional committeemen. Certainly if the personal misdeeds that the Congress has expressed concern over are true , and when first reported this was just a Congressional inquiry, there would be a need for concern about the integrity of the institution of the Office of Inspector General as well as that of the then office holder. Since our last report Mr. Edwards was quietly transferred.  Unfortunately CNN or Mr. Tapper seems blissfully unaware that this Congressional inquiry is not the only investigation into misbehavior recently focusing light into the Inspector General's Office, or of the many causes that warrant investigation that no one except the NMA has paid any attention to. We urge Mr. Trapper to contact the NMA at www.nationalmariners.us  and to tap into the NMA's well prepared body of reports to begin to see the whole spectrum of problems with the DHS OIG's office, the only supposedly full time watch dog over the Customs and Border Patrol, and the U.S. Coast Guard, two organizations that interact and affect the operations of America's Merchant Marine. It is long past due that these issues reach national media attention instead of being investigated, documented, reported, numbered, and filed away in NMA's collection available for potential use by government "watch dog" (if awake or not self serving) or the media ( if they could somehow bring themselves to take an interest in events on "the wet side of the levee"). If Mr. Tapper would contact the NMA he'd learn as Paul Harvey used to say ..."The rest of the story" of a watchdog turned lap dog. To read what he has found so far click on the link below". Since first issuing this report we have seen no improvement in DHS OIG performance.

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