Department of Education Review of PR Contracts
In the aftermath of the controversy over the U.S. Education Department (ED) hiring Armstrong Williams as a sub-contractor to promote the No Child Left Behind Act, the department's Inspector General reviewed all PR contacts in the 2002-2004 period. The Inspector-General was particularly investigating whether materials produced under the contract disclosed the Department of Education as its sponsor if they were communicated to the public.
The Inspector-General noted that ZGS Communications was awarded a contract worth $1,685,512 in financial years 1998-2002. "ED was unable to provide us with all statements of work associated with this contract. Additionally, ED could not identify every deliverable produced under this contract. ED was able to provide deliverables for our review, including booklets, informational videos and a CD-ROM that clearly stated that ED was the source. Since we were unable to review all deliverables produced under this contract, we could not determine if they resulted in covert propaganda," the Inspector General noted.
The Inspector-General noted that ZGS Communications was awarded a further contract worth $318,728 in financial years 2003-2005. "Contract called for a video to highlight successful local educational practices. We reviewed the video, which clearly identifies ED as the source. This deliverable adequately disclosed ED’s role in its production," the Inspector General reported. 
2000 N. 14th Street
Arlington, Virginia 22201
Phone: (703) 528-5656
Fax: (703) 526-0879
Email: info AT zgsgroup.com
- About ZGS, ZGS Communications, accessed February 2008.