Senate Passes Bill to Enhance Government Watchdog Capabilities

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, had this to say following passage of the Inspector General Empowerment Act.

The bill amends the Inspector General Act of 1978 by authorizing inspectors general to review computer matching data to identify improper payments without first getting an agency’s approval. It also ensures that inspectors general have access to all information they need to do their jobs, and would promote more transparency and cooperation between the offices and Congress.

“Inspectors general return $21 in savings to the taxpayer for every one dollar that Congress invests in them. That is one of the best returns on investment I know of,” said Johnson. “For years now we have heard from inspectors general about what they need to do their work even better, and we have worked to provide those authorities to them. This bill gives inspectors general more tools to investigate agencies and ferret out improper payments, and it helps ensure the independence of our federal watchdogs. I am proud to have worked with Sen. Grassley, Sen. McCaskill, and a bipartisan, bicameral coalition of other members to ensure the IG Empowerment Act is sent to the president’s desk.”


A one page summary on the Inspector General Empowerment Act can be found here.

As passed S.579/H.R. 6450, the Inspector General Empowerment Act can be found here.