Bipartisan Group of HSGAC Members Urge Action to Address Vacant Inspector General Positions

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, were joined by a bipartisan group of committee members in sending a letter to President Donald J. Trump Friday urging the administration to swiftly nominate permanent inspectors general (IGs) in the federal government. IGs are responsible for ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used responsibly and serve as independent watchdogs to prevent waste, fraud and abuse.

“As you continue to submit nominations for your administration, we respectfully request that you move expeditiously to nominate permanent IGs for the presidentially-appointed positions and to ask agency heads to follow suit,” the senators said. “We stand ready to work with you and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency to promptly identify qualified and capable candidates for these positions.”

This letter follows similar correspondence sent by the committee in both 2015 and 2017.

Full text of the latest letter is below and can also be viewed here.

 

September 13, 2019

 

President Donald Trump
The White House
Washington D.C. 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

We write to urge you to take swift action to address the vacant inspector general (IG) positions in the federal government.  The Inspector General Act established IGs to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration and operation of the government.  

At present, we understand there are nine vacancies of presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed IGs with no nominations pending and two vacancies for agency-appointed IGs.   The currently vacant presidentially-appointed IG positions include the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Office of Personnel Management, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of the Treasury.   Currently vacant agency-appointed IG positions are the Federal Election Commission and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.   Many of these positions have been vacant for over one year or more, including the Central Intelligence Agency, which has been vacant for over four years.

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.  In addition, the lack of a permanent IG can create the potential for conflicts of interest and diminish the essential independence of IGs.

As you continue to submit nominations for your administration, we respectfully request that you move expeditiously to nominate permanent IGs for the presidentially-appointed positions and to ask agency heads to follow suit.  We stand ready to work with you and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency to promptly identify qualified and capable candidates for these positions.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

 

Sincerely,

Gary C. Peters
Ranking Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

Ron Johnson     
Chairman
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

Rob Portman
Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

Tom Carper
Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

Rand Paul, M.D.
Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

Maggie Hassan
Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

James Landkford
Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

Kamala D. Harris
Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

Mitt Romney
Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

Kyrsten Sinema
Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

Michael B. Enzi
Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

Jacky Rosen
Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs  

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