The Department of Energy’s (Department) Loan Programs Office (LPO) grants and monitors loans to private sector entities to develop new clean energy technologies. Federal regulations prohibit employees from granting any preference or advantage to applicants for Federal employment, unless specifically prescribed by law.
The Office of Inspector General received a complaint alleging that a senior LPO official: (1) hired a “friend” for a Federal program position; and (2) directed a contractor to hire six individuals.
OIG’s inspection identified actions taken by a senior LPO official that could have caused others to perceive a misuse of position. Specifically, OIG substantiated the allegation that the senior LPO official hired a “friend” for a Federal position. Regarding the second allegation related to directed contractor hiring, OIG found that the senior LPO official had, in fact, not only referred six individuals, but actually referred a total of 10 individuals with whom the official was affiliated, to a support service contractor for hiring consideration.