Funny thing about former Secretary Foxx’s $363,000 discredited LMI culture study (updated)

An alert alumnus has pointed out an anomaly about the LMI culture study that was commissioned by former Secretary Foxx at a cost of $363,000 in taxpayer money: No one wants to take blame credit for it.  There are no authors or contributors listed in it. The same person pointed out that in other LMI reports it is customary for the authors and contributors to be listed and claim credit for their work.  For example, this report (Jeremy Alcorn’s bio is on page 8); this report (Robert Kline on page 12); and this report (Rachael Jonassen and Jeremy Alcron on the cover page).

Given that the culture study was methodologically flawed due to selection bias; relied upon an erroneous interpretation of a Defense Manpower Data Center survey even after we demonstrated that MARAD was erroneously interpreting the survey; and was contracted for under highly suspicious circumstances; one could understand why no one at LMI would want to accept blame take credit for the report.  But, I suspect that the real reason the contributors are not shown is because to do so would have confirmed the blatant conflict of interest and scandal that undermines the entire credibility of the study. Even before the culture study was released, LMI seemed to hide the fact that the former number four person in the Department of Transportation, Marlise Streitmatter, was involved in the study. I suspect that this was to avoid the conflict of interest from coming to light.

We have shown that the outgoing political appointees at MARAD left the LMI culture study behind as an “IED.”  They used the study as part of an effort to steer the results that will be reached by the working group that was created by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017.   They went so far as to redefine the tasks assigned to the working group by Congress in order to force the working group to use the conclusions in the LMI culture study. So it is imperative (to those driving the agenda at MARAD)  that the flaws and biases in the LMI culture study be hidden from the public. If the working group members learn of the problems with the LMI culture study, they might decide (and rightly so) to go back to the mission given them by Congress rather than be pushed down the path the outgoing administration chose for them.  Not publishing the authors and contributors — and thereby hiding Marlise Streitmatter’s role in preparing the report and the conflict of interest — serves this agenda to the detriment of the public and the working group.

In the interest of giving appropriate blame credit to the authors and contributors of the LMI culture study, this past Friday, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with DOT, requesting all documents that show who the key personnel were on the LMI contract for the culture study.  We’ve received the initial acknowledgement from DOT, with a standard statement that our request will be processed in the order it was received. As soon as we receive a formal response, we will post the information here at KPS — because unlike MARAD, we want you to be fully informed.

UPDATE:  The original post was amended to make it clear that LMI is erroneously interpreting the DMDC survey in the same way that MARAD has erroneously interpreted that survey. As originally posted, the post indicated that the survey itself was flawed.  While the survey is indeed flawed due to poorly worded questions and poor survey techniques (among other flaws), the link was to the erroneous interpretation, not the actual examples of flaws.