Empowering the Inspectors General

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Hearing Date: February 1, 2017 10:00 am 2154 Rayburn HOB

TAKEAWAYS:
  • Since the implementation of the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016, IGs have experienced easier access to required documents.
  • IGs still lack proper access to former federal employees after they retire or resign. Having testimonial subpoena power would help to provide access to key people in an IG investigation.
  • The Committee expressed bipartisan support for the IGs and will continue to assist them in their oversight mission.
  • 12 out of 73 IG positions remain vacant and should be filled.
PURPOSE:
  • To discuss the effect of the Inspector General (IG) Empowerment Act of 2016 and areas for further improvement.
  • To review ongoing management challenges facing IGs, including existing staff vacancies.
BACKGROUND:
  • Signed into law on December 16, 2016, the IG Empowerment Act allows IGs complete and timely access to agency documents.
  • The law mandates that IGs report to Congress: unimplemented agency recommendations and the number of criminal referrals made to the Department of Justice.
  • According to a list maintained by the Council of the Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency, 12 out of 73 federal IG positions have vacancies
KEY VIDEOS:
Chairman Chaffetz (R-UT): “I think that is a congressional challenge for this committee and something we do plan to address – if you can illuminate or shed any light on challenges or things that you’ve seen that you would think that we should address as we try to deal with this problem in making sure that we get rid of these bad apples.”

Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Meadows (R-NC): “From my side of the aisle, I’m going to be vigilant in making sure that your work continues on regardless of who is at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. We have your back, we believe in your independence, and anything that is out there to the contrary will be fought vigorously in a bipartisan way.”

Interior Subcommittee Chairman Farenthold (R-TX): “What is most helpful to us in Congress are some concrete recommendations of what to fix, and I would like to put that on your whiteboard of things to do.”

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
The Honorable Michael E. Horowitz Chair, Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, Inspector General U.S. Department of Justice Document
The Honorable Kathy A. Buller Executive Chair, Legislation Committee, Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, Inspector General Peace Corps Document
The Honorable Scott S. Dahl Inspector General U.S. Department of Labor Document
The Honorable John Roth Inspector General U.S. Department of Homeland Security Document