Senators: Inspectors General needed to “conduct the oversight and investigations necessary to ensure that taxpayer dollars are protected”
U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues to urge President Donald J. Trump to quickly nominate qualified candidates for Inspectors General (IGs), who serve as watchdogs over federal agencies.
Many government agencies have an independent Office of the Inspector General that is responsible for auditing federal programs in order to improve government operations and to target waste, fraud, and abuse, as well as investigating whistleblower claims and allegations of wrongdoing.
“While many acting IGs have served admirably in the absence of permanent leadership, the lack of a permanent leader threatens to impede the ability of these offices to conduct the oversight and investigations necessary to ensure that taxpayer dollars are protected, public safety risks are identified, and that whistleblowers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse are protected,” Daines wrote. “In addition, the lack of a permanent IG can create the potential for conflicts of interest and diminish the essential independence of IGs.”
The following agencies currently lack a presidentially-appointed permanent Inspector General: Export-Import Bank of the United States, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Office of Personnel Management, Social Security Administration, Department of the Interior, National Security Agency, Small Business Administration and Intelligence Community. The United States Postal Service, AbilityOne Commission, and the Federal Election Commission have Inspectors General vacancies that the agencies are required to fill. The members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee had previously sent a similar letter to President Obama urging him to fill Inspectors General vacancies.
Daines is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is responsible for oversight of all federal agencies. The work of Inspectors General has been essential for Committee investigations and oversight that targets waste, fraud, and abuse.
The letter is also signed by U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), James Lankford (R-OK) , Ed Markey (D-MA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH).
Read the letter to President Trump HERE.