WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., and Committee member Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Friday sent a letter to President Obama regarding the termination of Gerald Walpin as Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Following is text of the letter:

June 19, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We have received the White House’s letter of June 16, 2009, supplementing your prior notification of June 11, 2009, regarding the decision to remove from office the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service, Mr. Gerald Walpin.

We appreciate your communications with the Committee on this matter. Based on the information you provided in the initial letter, and its supplement, we believe you have met the letter and spirit of the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008 with respect to congressional notifications of removal or transfer.

Inspectors General are vital partners in Congress’s effort to identify inefficient, ineffective, and improper government programs. By leveraging the expertise and independence of Inspectors General and their staffs, Congress has been able to identify, and take action to stop, wasteful spending. The investigations and reports of Inspectors General throughout the government help Congress shape legislation and oversight activities – improving government performance, providing important transparency into federal programs, and giving Americans better value for their tax dollar.

The improvements in the Inspector General Reform Act relating to the removal or transfer of Inspectors General are designed to insulate and protect our nation’s watchdogs from inappropriate efforts to hinder their audits and investigations. Although Congress stopped short of requiring “for cause” removal of Inspectors General, the law and its legislative history indicate that the reasons included in the President’s notification to Congress upon the removal or transfer of an Inspector General should be more than superficial or conclusory.
We appreciate the efforts your staff has made to address our concerns on this issue. Discussions and briefing with Committee staff over the last several days, on both the question of proper notice and the substantive reasons for the termination decision, have been instructive. We request the White House’s ongoing cooperation in providing requested information to the Committee to ensure that we are fully apprised of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Walpin’s removal.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.


Joseph I. Lieberman Susan M. Collins Claire McCaskill
Chairman Ranking Member U.S. Senator