On Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office announced that it had concluded an internal review of how a report on for-profit schools got so bungled that a revised version had to be issued. The original report identified examples of waste, fraud, and abuse at a number of for-profit schools. The report gave ammunition to those who don’t like the idea of mixing profit-seeking with teaching. But it turns out that GAO was guilty of selecting the evidence to fit the conclusion that its patrons in Congress wanted to hear. A couple months after the initial report came out, a revised version was issued that included material missing from the original report. That material put the for-profits in a better light.
Of its review, GAO announced: “The results indicate there was no personal bias or conflict of interest by those involved in writing the report, however there were process, supervisory and analytical weaknesses that led to errors and missing context.” The GAO continued: “The report is an internal inspection and will not be publicly released by GAO …”
Where’s the Government Accountability Office Accountability Office when you need it?
(For background on the disputed report, see Neal McCluskey’s posts “GAO Confirms: It Did Nothing Wrong, and It’s None of Your Business,” February 8, 2011, and “Dear Defamed: Trust Us, We’re the Government,” January, 13, 2011, at Cato@Liberty.)