An internal State Department report says the agency’s work in publicizing administration foreign policy and its relations with the media have been hurt by poor communication, lack of staffing and uneven leadership in the Bureau of Public Affairs.
A review by the department’s inspector general found that some employees had been instructed not to return phone calls to reporters asking sensitive questions and that the environment in one office was so tense and hostile that several workers fear violence.
The report, which was completed last week, was obtained on Thursday by The Associated Press.
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The 63-page document also found that the duties of some career employees in the press office had been transferred to political appointees, which contributed to low morale. The report was compiled last fall, months after Hillary Rodham Clinton took the helm at the State Department.
“It’s a tough report,” said P.J. Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs who runs the bureau. “What the report shows is that the bureau has many strengths, but it clearly has some organizational weaknesses that we are aggressively trying to correct.”
Read More: Associated Press