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  • $50 Million Government Polling Contract with Gallup Attracts Scrutiny

    An example of government waste and bad planning—the exorbitantly expensive Gallup Organization contract with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)—is finally coming under a long-overdue review.

    At a time when language service after language service of Voice of America, this country’s primary public diplomacy tool, is under threat of being shut down for lack of funding, the BBG incomprehensibly in December awarded Gallup a contract worth $50 million over five years for audience research.

    This is a huge contract for an agency whose budget is already under strain. Transparency in government dictates that the circumstances under which it was signed come under severe scrutiny and the parties involved held to account.

    Spurred by a lawsuit by the Department of Justice against Gallup for filing false claims, BBG member Victor Ashe has demanded that the BBG contract be suspended. Ashe is the board’s most outspoken member in favor of government accountability. He is responsible for, among other things, the idea of broadcasting BBG meetings on the agency’s website.

    As someone who has previously questioned the rationale for the over-the-top agreement with Gallup, Ashe has now demanded that the BBG learn from the unfortunate experience of other government departments:

    In light of the Department of Justice joining the lawsuit against Gallup, I think prudence suggests BBG disengage from our current up to $50 million contract for polling. I have always had misgivings about this huge contract. And have urged its reduction. Now it is time to call it off and look elsewhere for our research.

    The Justice Department recently joined a lawsuit against the Gallup Organization, considered one of the most trusted pollsters in the U.S., which claims that Gallup overcharged various government agencies, including FEMA, the U.S. Mint, and the U.S. State Department.

    An ex-Gallup employee, Michael Lindley, turned whistleblower after he was fired, he claims, for complaining to his supervisors about False Claims Act violations. Lindley alleges that Gallup violated the act by inflating estimates of the number of hours it would take to provide polling services. Lindley’s complaint claims that the “sole-source” nature of the contracts made it difficult for the government to assess the cost of polling work.

    The mandate of U.S. international broadcasting is to bring reliable news and information about the U.S. to audiences in countries where a free media does not exist. Do we really need $50 million worth of Gallup audience research to tell our veteran broadcasters how to do their jobs? Was there no cheaper way of gathering the relevant information?

    Sole-source contracting should always raise red flags, and Ashe is to be greatly commended for demanding light on the murky decision-making process at the BBG.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to $50 Million Government Polling Contract with Gallup Attracts Scrutiny

    1. union says:

      The Gallup contract with the BBG is not sole source.

    2. Hoads says:

      We need to start pulling back the covers of the polling industry. It's not a stretch to believe this cottage industry nestled around the federal government has been captured by its "clients". How easy to embed within and subvert the polling process with "doctored" lists and tainted databases. Even internal polling is not immune if the tools for the polling process are centrally purchased and deseminated, I'm always amazed how our legislators derive their take on the public pulse. They are often times way off based.

      The Left has had great success with their Gramscian "march through the institutions". It's time for an undercovered and thorough vetting of the polling industry and root out subversive entities.

    3. Stirling says:

      These "Polling" groups have lost their legitamacy, and will be the downfall of the democratic party for trying to influence the election. I for one don't belive their numbers anymore when they over sample one party over the other in their results.. Our society has been inundated by polling which can be manipulated by special intrest groups and should not be taken seriously anymore.

    4. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Why? There are other polling firms out there.

    5. Derek Kol says:

      The Obama administration is the most wasteful group to ever occupy the White House. They act like money grows on trees.

    6. Bobbie says:

      Where's the ethics??!! How can $50,000,000.00 of our money be spent by government beyond our control to go to polling contracts when one government party proves fraudulence and leniency on fraud? government uses their authority for conflict of interests as integrity can only show bipartisan when it's provided with no government ties. Like they're not going to bribe gallop to cheat for those little ones who cheated their way to be where they're at! Jail time for justice.

      Scrutiny is very attracted to this perversion…

      • Jack says:

        The contract is a five year IDIQ with a ceiling value of $50 million. That amount has not been spent yet – that's only the ceiling value of the contract.

    7. Leon Lundquist says:

      Is this another case of the Obama Administration using Public Funds for Politics? Bad enough they have the FCC looking the other way like crazy as the Three Blind Mice (ABC, NBC & CBS) actually throw so much valuable publicity Obama's way, it is like they threw the election. The Bias in 2008 was 80% plus. It amounts to a Campaign Contribution, the unfair coverage. Then, when GE (owner of ABC) paid nothing on their Income Taxes of $28 Billion, it was a Pay Off! Poor Gallup, it is like getting in bed with the Mafia. So, now it is the crooks going after Gallup? It may have been their purpose all along just to wreck a good polling company. You know, these Democrats hate all Business. They hate all Industry.

      Did anybody know, they are going after the Bail Bonds Industry? Yeah! Demo-crats want to Nationalize the Bail Bonds Industry too. Keep up the good work Heritage Foundation! We are counting on you.

      • Jack says:

        The purpose of the contract is to provide guidance to the BBG on programming that will resonate with foreign audiences. In other words, it actually will help the BBG ensure that funds are spent wisely on programming that the targeted audiences will actually be exposed to. None of the funding will be used to conduct survey research on US citizens.

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