Two leading senators are asking for information on watchdog independence.
The government's inspectors general are tasked with conducting independent oversight of federal agencies.
The senators say that too often, the agencies involved ignore the recommendations made by their inspectors general or "present obstacles to publishing findings by slowing and even denying access to documents."
In a letter, Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are asking 72 inspectors general about what additional tools they may need to do their work without interference.
The senator also is asking about any efforts by agency officials to interfere with the independence of the inspectors general or limit their contacts with members of Congress.
You can find more information and a link to the letter below.
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Johnson, Grassley Seek Information from 72 Offices of the Inspector General on Open and Unimplemented Recommendations, Agency Attempts to Interfere with Independence
WASHINGTON—Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter Friday to 72 agencies’ office of the inspector general (OIGs) across the executive branch.
The letter requests information from OIGs on open and unimplemented recommendations and the aggregate cost savings of the recommendations to agencies, if implemented. The letter also seeks information on any attempts by agencies to interfere with OIG independence, including efforts to limit the capabilities of the OIG or attempts to restrict communications between the OIG and Congress.
Every day, inspectors general across the executive branch make recommendations that could save millions of taxpayer dollars and promote a better, more efficient government. But as the inspectors general at this week’s hearing confirmed, oftentimes agencies ignore their recommendations or present obstacles to publishing findings by slowing and even denying access to documents. We want to ensure inspectors general have the tools necessary to conduct their work without interference, and that our committee members have the information they need to help in that effort.Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc)
Congress often hears when an agency stonewalls an inspector general but not always. This letter gives every inspector general the chance to weigh in on problems. If an inspector general doesn’t have interference problems, Congress ought to know that, too. Getting a handle on open recommendations is important for taxpayers and good government. Agencies should implement inspector general recommendations as soon as possible, and if they can’t, they should account for why not.”Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
An electronic version of the letter can be found here.
Below is a list of all inspectors general who received the senators’ letter.
Ms. Catherine Trujillo, Acting Deputy Inspector General, Agency for International Development
Mr. Tom Howard, Inspector General, Amtrak
Mr. Hubert Sparks, Inspector General, Appalachian Regional Commission
Mr. Kevin Mulshine, Inspector General, Architect of the Capitol
Hon. David Buckley, Inspector General, Central Intelligence Agency
Mr. A. Roy Lavik, Inspector General, Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Mr. Christopher W. Dentel, Inspector General, Consumer Product Safety Commission
Hon. Deborah Jeffrey, Inspector General, Corporation for National and Community Service
Ms. Mary, Mitchelson, Inspector General, Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Ms. Kristi Waschull, Inspector General, Defense Intelligence Agency
Mr. Richard J. Griffin, Acting Inspector General, Department of Veterans Affairs
Mr. Curtis Crider, Inspector General, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Mr. Milton Mayo, Inspector General, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Mr. Michael McCarthy, Acting Inspector General, Export-Import Bank of the United States
Ms. Elizabeth M. Dean Counsel to the Inspector General, Farm Credit Administration
Mr. David Hunt, Inspector General, Federal Communications Commission
Mr. Fred W. Gibson, Acting Inspector General, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Mr. Lynne A. McFarland, Inspector General, Federal Election Commission
Hon. Laura S. Wertheimer, Inspector General, Federal Housing Finance Agency
Ms. Dana Rooney, Inspector General, Federal Labor Relations Authority
Mr. Jon Hatfield, Inspector General, Federal Maritime Commission
Mr. Mark Bialek, Inspector General, Federal Reserve Board/Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
Ms. Roslyn A. Mazer Acting Inspector General, Federal Trade Commission
Mr. Robert C. Erickson, Deputy Inspector General, General Services Administration
Mr. Adam Trzeciak, Inspector General, Government Accountability Office
Mr. Michael Raponi, Inspector General, Government Printing Office
Mr. Jeffrey E. Schanz, Inspector General, Legal Services Corporation
Mr. Kurt W. Hyde, Inspector General, Library of Congress
Hon. Paul K. Martin, Inspector General, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Mr. James E. Springs, Acting Inspector General, National Archives
Mr. James Hagen, Inspector General, National Credit Union Administration
Ms. Tonie Jones, Inspector General, National Endowment for the Arts
Ms. Laura Davis, Inspector General, National Endowment for the Humanities
Mr. Joseph Composto, Inspector General, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Mr. David Berry, Inspector General, National Labor Relations Board
Mr. Adam G. Harris, Inspector General, National Reconnaissance Office
Ms. Allison C. Lerner, Inspector General, National Science Foundation
Dr. George Ellard, Inspector General, National Security Agency
Hon. Hubert T. Bell, Inspector General, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Hon. Patrick E. McFarland, Inspector General, Office of Personnel Management
Hon. I. Charles McCullough III., Inspector General, Office of the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community
Ms. Kathy A. Buller, Inspector General, Peace Corps
Ms. Deborah Stover-Springer, Acting Inspector General, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Mr. Jack Callender, Inspector General, Postal Regulatory Commission
Hon. Martin J. Dickman, Inspector General, Railroad Retirement Board
Mr. Carl Hoecker, Inspector General, Securities and Exchange Commission
Hon. Peggy E. Gustafson, Inspector General, Small Business Administration
Ms. Cathy Helm, Inspector General, Smithsonian Institution
Hon. Patrick P. O'Carroll Jr., Inspector General, Social Security Administration
Hon. Christy Romero, Special Inspector General, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program
Hon. Richard Moore, Inspector General, Tennessee Valley Authority
Mr. David Sheppard, Acting Inspector General, Denali Commission
Hon. J. Russell George, Inspector General, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Ms. Fay F. Ropella, Inspector General, U.S. Capitol Police
Hon. Phyllis Fong, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Hon. Todd J. Zinser, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Commerce
Hon. John T. Rymer, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense
Hon. Kathleen Tighe, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education
Hon. Gregory H. Friedman, Acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of Energy
Hon. Daniel Levinson, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Hon. John Roth, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Hon. David A. Montoya, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Hon. Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice
Hon. Scott Dahl, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor
Hon. Steve Linick, Inspector General, U.S. Department of State
Ms. Mary Kendall, Acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of the Interior
Hon. Eric M. Thorson, Inspector General, U.S. Department of the Treasury
Hon. Calvin L. Scovel III., Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation
Hon. Arthur A. Elkins Jr., Inspector General, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mr. Philip M. Heneghan, Inspector General, U.S. International Trade Commission
Mr. Dave Williams, Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service
Mr. John F. Sopko, Inspector General, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction