November 2008 Hillary Clinton was negotiating with Obama to be his Secretary of State - her confirmation was at risk over conflicts of interest in her duties to the USA and her involvement with the Clinton Foundation.
On 11 November 2008 Obama's transitional office signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Clinton Foundation - (MOU dated 12 December 2008, CF signed 16 December 2008).
DFAT told the Australian Senate standing committee for foreign affairs the MOU provided for greater transparency and accountability (paper released under FOI here) - extract follows:
During the past year, Julie Bishop's DFAT answered my queries about the CF contracts in similar terms - it was paid approx $88M after it met agreed outcomes, targets and deliverables. They lied.
I favour the $100K independent reviews of the Clinton HIV/Aids Initiative DFAT agreements over the dissembling DFAT spin doctors.
Today we bring you chilling confirmation of our reports in this direct evidence from the Clinton Foundation's own staff.
November 2008 secret internal CF review published for first time here today found:
- no goals or measures tied to any strategy,
- few procedures, processes, and systems
- no evaluation processes
- employees not held accountable for performance or lack thereof
Dec 2009 independent review of DFAT/CF HIVAids contract:
- no statement of project goal or purpose,
- no clear Program Area objectives
- no targets
- it's impossible to say whether CHAI has been effective.
DFAT says the 2008 Obama/CF MOU delivered greater transparency and accountability.
Really? The CF boss signed the MOU after receiving the report attached to this email to Podesta. Podesta worked for Obama's White House and on Clinton's campaign to replace him. Conflict much?
So in the interests of transparency and accountability, here's the secret dossier of damning evidence that Clinton sent to the bottom of the harbour. Until today.
(Editor's note from Michael Smith - I have extracted verbatim quotes from the report in the order in which they appear therein. Minor changes to syntax, tenses and parsing have been made for ease of reading. The complete report is here).
The Foundation operates more like a political operation focused on immediate situations, tasks, and events, as opposed to a professional, strategic, and sustainable corporation committed to advancing its overall mission.
The lack of a strategy tied to an articulated vision is one of the major deficiencies of this organization. Employees, even at the senior level, could not articulate the organization’s game plan for achieving its mission (and) confessed that there are no goals or measures tied to any strategy,
There is very little, if any, accountability (as no one’s work is measured against established goals and measures).
The work of the Foundation and the President are intertwined in a way that creates confusion and undermines the work of the Foundation at virtually every level.
There is no “central command,” functionalities are divided across offices, Foundation offices and initiatives are dangerously independent.
A couple of key managers appear to have interests that do not align with those of the Foundation.
The Foundation (operates) around the President (with) “free agents,” serving the interests of the President (keep in mind Clinton was not an officer and not a fiduciary of CF at any time from its 1997 inception to 2013 owing to his disbarment as a lawyer, impeachment and court findings of perjury against him. The review makes it clear that Clinton unlawfully directed the operation of the Foundation with a puppet rubber stamp board. Links to our reports on the backdated contract provisions are listed at the foot of this article.)
CF will continue to be faced with reputational and legal challenges, and with confusion, inefficiencies, and waste.
CF has very few procedures, processes, and systems in place,
CF is missing several policies/procedures that are required by law (e.g., record retention policy)
Individuals serving in managerial positions have no managerial experience or skills.
The anti-compliance attitude of a couple of key managers has affected CF culture/decisions and lower level employees who either witness non-compliant behavior or participate in or condone it. (Staff members virtually begged for a stronger whistleblower policy and process.)
A reactive approach dominates the entire organization - focusing more on “getting it done than getting it right.”
The organization is not operating effectively or efficiently (with combined deficiencies which) threaten its very existence.
There's an urgent requirement immediately to bring the Foundation into compliance with the law.
The Board should consider separating the Foundation completely from the President’s operations, functionally, staff-wise, and physically
The challenges and deficiencies plaguing the Foundation cannot be over-stated: They are real and undermine the organization’s effectiveness, immediately and more long term.
There needs to be an open and honest discussion with the President about the future of the Foundation.
Some staff are paid by the President/his office and the Foundation creating conflicts of interest.
One senior staffer paid by the President, the government, and the Foundation allowed the Foundation to host a political event without approval from the Foundation’s legal department and without regard to the risks to the Foundation’s tax exempt status.
A senior staffer is reported to have had her travel paid for by the Foundation when traveling with the President.
It is not apparent how staff members paid through various sources (ie having more than one full-time job) are able to fulfill their responsibilities and duties to the Foundation.
Staff members with closer ties to the former President receive better benefits or more favorable treatment from the Foundation as a result of those ties.
Certain people are “untouchable” because of their relationship to the President.
It is not clear that the Board is sufficiently independent from the President.
During the (2008 Hillary for President) campaign staff advised they were concerned about the President’s commitment to the Foundation (especially) during the primary and after the election if she prevailed.
The Foundation’s largest initiative (CHAI) operates extremely independently to the detriment of the Foundation.
The lawsuit against CF involving CHAI could have been avoided if the Boston office had contacted the CEO as soon as it learned of the problem.
CHAI (ie Magaziner) makes employment-related decisions based on factors other than the Foundation’s interests.
No one is charged with overseeing compliance for the Foundation.
The Foundation has no articulated strategy tied to its mission or a vision, with benchmarks, goals, and/or measurements.
The Foundation does not have a record retention policy and some current policies may violate the law.
The CF HQ Finance Department has minimal, if any, control over the policies and procedures used by the various initiatives.
There is no policy or procedure regarding compliance, and the Foundation is out of compliance in several important respects. Several staff complained about the ant-compliance sentiment that permeates the Harlem and Boston (ie CHAI Magaziner) offices.
Important responsibilities regarding corporate filings are delegated to the CFO, who appears to delegate them to an outside organization, with very little oversight by the legal department. As a result, the Foundation is not in compliance with the filings rules, including in New York, which requires the Foundation to be certified to do business in the State.
HR has paid very little attention to the organization’s employees, failing to institute job/position descriptions, a real evaluation process, any professional development, or any process for complaints.
There is no real evaluation process, and employees are not held accountable for their performance (or lack thereof).
Many key Foundation staff came from the President’s political world or through the internship program, and, thus, lack real management and/or not-for-profit experience. A number of staff members complained about the lack of real managerial experience among the people filling key roles (virtually all citing Laura Graham as an example, and a few citing Julie Becker).
There is no clear decision-making hierarchy, and staff “forum shop” or bypass the hierarchy to secure a favorable decision.
ENDS - the Clinton backdating provisions are described in our reports here: