All of which makes the slick pro-trade advertising campaign, which was launched by the Ecuadoran Embassy in Washington, feel a little awkward. On Friday, a Loop fan spotted a sign on a Metro car promoting the “Keep Trade Going” campaign.
“I discovered the best roses come from Ecuador,” the colorful sign reads.
The initiative also featured an extensive Web site, according to a news release lauding the campaign, featuring “videos, infographics, photos and testimonials from those affected in both countries — from Ecuadoran farmers to the owners of U.S. flower shops,” as well as a social-media presence.
The message is (was?) that the trade deal was pretty much the best thing since sliced bread, keeping Ecuadorans from resorting to the drug trade, while sending the finest roses, tuna, broccoli and mangoes to U.S. consumers.
“KeepTradeGoing.com serves as a forum for educating, encouraging action, and stimulating a very important conversation: ways that Ecuador and the U.S. can further develop our trade relationships for the economic and security benefits of both countries,” Nathalie Cely, the Ecuadoran ambassador to the United States, said in the release.
A representative for the campaign didn’t return our calls, but the Web site and Facebook page and Twitter feed appeared to have been taken down.
Close, but no SIGAR
The federal government’s inspector generals are usually considered watchdogs who investigate allegations of mismanagement, waste, fraud and abuse by government agencies and then demand that the agencies shape up.
The IGs also periodically review one another's work to ensure that everyone’s following procedures in agency audits.
It seems a most unusual — in fact, downright nasty — catfight erupted last week between two inspector generals when the special IG for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR) reviewed some work of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. IG (PBGC OIG).
We’re not going to get involved in the gory details, save to say that the battle is over compliance with government accounting standards (GAGAS).
The SIGAR team reviewed two of the PBGC team’s audits and graded them in a report on May 15 with a “pass with deficiencies.”
That sparked what became a bench-clearing brawl, most of which is laid out here.
“SIGAR’s peer review report is replete with errors and misinterpretation to a degree that I personally find shocking,” corporation IG Rebecca Anne Batts wrote Friday as she forwarded the report to her board of directors.