NOAA Hides Contents of Investigative Report


by Arnaud and Naja Girard

Last week The Blue Paper published an investigation into the apparent protections that government agencies are placing over large contractors who wreck the Keys’ environment.

This week we (finally) received a response to an April 17, 2017 FOIA request we had made to NOAA immediately after they announced they had completed their months long investigation into an anonymous complaint of “a hostile workforce environment and waste, fraud and abuse” at the offices of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and had permanently reassigned three top FKNMS officials.

No further details about the allegations or the findings were provided by NOAA at the time.

The FOIA response, received this Wednesday, consists of 766 pages of documents that are nearly entirely redacted; most pages contain nothing more than big black boxes.

There are however indications that a portion of the probe likely involved improper procedures in the selection of a private contractor.

The specific allegations that NOAA refuses to share with the public were declared “unsubstantiated.”

It took more than two years and over 30 email exchanges, some not very nice, before top officials at NOAA finally sent copies of investigative documents to The Blue Paper.

Check the video below to better understand just how little NOAA wants you to know.

As it happens, Blue Paper reporters will have to sue to obtain more details about the content of this mysterious investigation. Your financial support is needed to continue this type of reporting.

Here are the four documents provided to us on June 19th:

Final Report – Administrative Inquiry of FKNMS_Redactions Applied_Part1of2.pdf

Final Report – Administrative Inquiry of FKNMS_Redactions Applied_Part2of2.pdf

NOAA AGO Response to 3-16-17_Redactions Applied.pdf

Signed NOAA Response 10-13-16_Redactions Applied.pdf



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