Report Summary

Title: Review of the Allegation Concerning Information Presented in the Deputy Secretary’s Official Biography
Report Number: 15-02101-143 Download
Issue Date: 2/19/2015
VA Office: Office of General Counsel (OGC)
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Audit
Release Type: Unrestricted

On December 3, 2014, the Office of Inspector General received an allegation that the official biography of Mr. Sloan Gibson, Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not present accurate and transparent information. The allegation focused on the information available on VA’s Web site relating to Mr. Gibson’s accomplishments during the period

2008–2013, when he held a leadership role at the United Services Organizations, Inc. (USO). Specifically, the complainant questioned the methodology used to calculate net fundraising, which in turn questioned the source of funds enabling dramatic growth in USO programs and facilities. Using USO’s publically available audited financial statements and program lists from 2008 through 2013, we did not substantiate the allegation. VA OIG does not have oversight authority over the USO. Although congressionally chartered, the USO is a nonprofit, private organization, and not a Government agency. Without access to USO internal financial documents, we could not test the reliability, accuracy, or completeness of the documents received from the complainant.

We focused our review specifically on the accuracy of the statement, in the Deputy Secretary’s official biography that “During his five years at the USO, net fundraising grew 90 percent, enabling dramatic growth in programs and facilities supporting our forward-deployed men and women, military families, as well as our wounded, ill, and injured Service members, their families, and the families of the fallen.” The official biography is included at Appendix A of this report.

Based on our review of the publically available financial statements, we calculated reasonable, comparable percentages as contained within the official biography. Additionally, we identified a dramatic increase in programs from 2008–2013. In conclusion, we found no physical or testimonial evidence to question the accuracy of the statements made in the VA Deputy Secretary’s official biography. Thus, we are not making a recommendation to change the information in the Deputy Secretary’s official biography.