From March 22, 2020, through June 18, 2020, the DoD Hotline received thirty complaints against Mr. Brett J. Goldstein, Director, Defense Digital Service (DDS). Most of the complainants were anonymous and generally alleged that Mr. Goldstein fostered a negative work environment by failing to treat his subordinates with dignity and respect. On June 19, 2020, the DoD Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated an investigation into the allegations. During the course of our investigation, we also examined an emergent allegation that Mr. Goldstein used and condoned the use of an unauthorized electronic messaging and voice-calling application to discuss official DoD information.
We concluded that Mr. Goldstein did not fail to treat subordinates with dignity and respect. In this investigation, we considered the Joint Ethics Regulation, which emphasizes primary ethical values including fairness, caring, and respect that should guide all DoD employees. We also concluded that Mr. Goldstein used and condoned his subordinates’ use of Signal, an unauthorized electronic messaging and voice-calling application, to discuss official DoD information. We found that Mr. Goldstein used Signal regularly to communicate with DDS employees and other DoD officials to discuss official DoD information.