Inspection of the Global Engagement Center

ISP-I-22-15
    Report Contents
    Unclassified

    What OIG Inspected
    OIG inspected executive direction, policy implementation, federal assistance, resource management, and information technology and records management operations at the Global Engagement Center.

    What OIG Recommends
    OIG made 18 recommendations to the Global Engagement Center. In its comments on the draft report, the Global Engagement Center concurred with all 18 recommendations. OIG considers all 18 recommendations resolved. The Global Engagement Center’s response to each recommendation, and OIG’s reply, can be found in the Recommendations section of this report. The center’s formal response is reprinted in its entirety in Appendix B.

    What OIG Found

    • The Global Engagement Center, under its current leadership, strengthened its relationships in the interagency community, the Department of State, and with international partners while conducting significant work to counter disinformation overseas that threatens U.S. security interests.
    • Despite having a clear legal mandate to coordinate Department and interagency efforts to counter propaganda and disinformation by foreign state and non-state actors, the center’s legacy organizational structure, insufficient internal controls to properly manage contractors, and a limited strategic planning process affected its ability to fully meet its mission. 
    • The center’s leadership faced a considerable challenge to address a work environment that created Equal Employment Opportunity concerns among staff. 
    • The center did not conduct risk assessments and obtain authorizations to operate its global and U.S. government analytics platforms. 
    • Spotlight on Success: The center’s August 2020 report, The Pillars of Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem, assisted foreign governments, civil society, academia, and media to increase their resilience by exposing Russian disinformation tactics and sources. 
    • Spotlight on Success: The Tech Challenges program, a series of regional competitions, advanced innovative solutions to counter adversarial disinformation by funding new technologies and offering a forum to highlight and connect entrepreneurs.