The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) has filed an administrative appeal challenging the USDA Inspector General's refusal to release information relating to an audit of the beef checkoff program.

The OCM says despite an independent audit that discovered violations of the beef checkoff program, a recently released OIG report of those same operations did not discover such violations. To review the report fully, OCM filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to demand disclosure of the audit records.

OIG says, however, that it will not release documents that were not contained in the final audit report. OCM's administrative appeal challenges the OIG's refusal to disclose these materials. The appeal also alleges that OIG has not complied with FOIA's statutory deadlines and improperly transferred records to the Ag Marketing Service – the agency being audited – for that agency to make disclosure determinations "The Inspector General stresses the need for transparency in the checkoff program, while simultaneously refusing to release thousands of pages of audit records," says Mike Callicrate, OCM president.

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