A new report about nepotism at the Department of Energy found that a senior official within the department used his influence to secure internships for his three college-aged children. The report, “Alleged Nepotism and Wasteful Spending in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,” by the office of the Inspector General also said the official defended his actions and said that doing favors for family members within the DOE is common. The official was not identified by name.
The three internships the family members received were part of the Student Temporary Employment Program. The competitive program gives high school and college students real work experience.
The official also allegedly downplayed the number of people within the department he contacted about securing internships for his children, Fox News reported.
“During the interview, the senior official states that he recalled contacting four officials from various program offices to inquire about STEP employment for his children," the report stated. "Through an examination of the official’s email records and interviews with various program officials, we discovered that the official made contact with a total of 12 officials."
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It sounds as if at least one of the people the official contacted had some major influence.
“The contacted program office decided to reverse its previously announced decision to not hire interns during FY 2012 and subsequently hired one of the senior official’s children as a STEP intern,” the report said.
The DOE said this sort of thing will not happen again.
“The Energy Department is committed to fair, open and transparent hiring processes that ensure every candidate is evaluated equally,” said agency spokesperson Bill Gibbons. “As recommended by the inspector general, the offices of the general counsel and the chief human capital officer are reviewing the information in the report as well as the circumstances surrounding these intern hires. The department will take appropriate action based on those findings.”