Congress Passes the In­spec­tor Gen­eral Em­pow­er­ment Act of 2016

Traveling Minds - - Table Of Contents -

In De­cem­ber, Congress fi­nally gave the In­spec­tor Gen­eral's of­fice the abil­ity to more fully do its job by giv­ing it full and prompt ac­cess to the doc­u­ments of fed­eral agen­cies.

The new act en­sures that In­spec­tor Gen­er­als (IGS) have the abil­ity to con­duct au­dits, re­views and in­ves­ti­ga­tions in an in­de­pen­dent and ef­fi­cient man­ner.

The act was nec­es­sary be­cause of re­fusals by sev­eral agen­cies to pro­vide their IGS with in­de­pen­dent ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion. Lack of ef­fec­tive over­sight means greater po­ten­tial for crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

The is­sue was com­pli­cated by a De­part­ment of Jus­tice Of­fice of Le­gal Coun­sel opin­ion in July 2015 as­sert­ing that the In­spec­tor Gen­eral Act did not en­ti­tle IGS to all records avail­able to an agency.

Dif­fer­ent fed­eral agen­cies have en­gaged in se­ri­ous crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity and breaches of the pub­lic trust at var­i­ous times in the re­cent his­tory of the United States and have been able to block in­ves­ti­ga­tions be­cause the In­spec­tor Gen­eral's of­fice did not have a suf­fi­ciently clear au­thor­ity to gain ac­cess to all doc­u­ments and peo­ple.

De­part­ment of Jus­tice IG Michael E. Horowitz stated: "Pas­sage of the IG Em­pow­er­ment Act en­hances the IGS' abil­ity to fight waste, fraud, abuse, and mis­con­duct, pro­tects whistle­blow­ers who share in­for­ma­tion with IGS, in­creases gov­ern­ment trans­parency, and bol­sters the pub­lic's con­fi­dence in the in­de­pen­dence of IGS. For th­ese rea­sons, the Act is an im­por­tant mile­stone for good gov­ern­ment. The In­spec­tor Gen­eral com­mu­nity is grate­ful to the spon­sors and co-spon­sors of this Act and all those who stood up for in­de­pen­dent over­sight."

It is hoped that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion will con­tinue to in­crease ac­count­abil­ity within fed­eral agen­cies and give the IGS the re­sources they need to in­ves­ti­gate and ex­pose malfea­sance in ev­ery agency.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.