May 03, 2010

BP Ombuds Could Draw Scrutiny in Gulf Oil Spill Investigation

Truthout, the nonprofit progressive news site, is reporting that a former British Petroleum contractor claims the oil conglomerate ignored complaints he made to the company's Ombuds office. The whistleblower claims that BP broke federal laws and violated its own internal procedures by failing to maintain crucial safety and engineering documents related to deepwater production projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

The whistleblower detailed these claims in emails to Pasha Eatedali in BP's Ombuds office in March 2009. The Ombuds office agreed to investigate. A few weeks later, Billie Pirner Garde, BP's Deputy Ombudsman later sent an email saying that some claims "were substantiated" and added that the whistleblower's complaints weren't "unique" and had been raised by other employees "before you worked there, while you were there and after you left." On March 26, 2010, Department of Interior's federal Minerals Management Services launched a formal investigation and is expected to file a report detailing its findings next month. (Truthout.)

As the Gulf oil spill grows into one of the country's greatest ecological disasters, a Congressional inquiry is inevitable. If so, there is a chance that testimony from BP's Ombuds could be requested.

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