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Press Release Published: Jun 5, 2023

Comer Presses White House Over IG Vacancies at Departments of State, Treasury & USAID

Urges President Biden to nominate highly qualified candidates to fill these vacancies

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) today sent a letter to President Biden urging him to expeditiously nominate highly qualified candidates to fill Inspector General (IG) vacancies at the Department of State, the Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

“The Inspector General (IG) community conducts essential oversight of federal agencies and programs, safeguarding taxpayer funds and shining the light on waste, fraud, and abuse. That essential oversight function is undermined by prolonged vacancies of IGs responsible for carrying out that mandate. To date, the U.S. Department of State (State) IG position has been vacant for over 1,100 days with no nominee; the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) IG position has been vacant for over 850 days; and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) IG position has been vacant for almost 1,500 days,” wrote Chairman Comer. “We write to express our concern that these vacancies with no nominee are limiting transparency and holding back efforts to ensure the federal government is working as efficiently as possible on behalf of the American people. We urge you to expeditiously nominate highly qualified candidates to fill these vacancies.”

Independent oversight of all federal agencies is critical to ensuring the integrity of our government. IGs work to root out government waste, fraud, and abuse and ensure federal agencies serve the American public efficiently and effectively. IGs also report the results of their audits, investigations, and evaluations to Congress, providing critical information beneficial to congressional oversight.

“We are concerned that you have left prolonged vacancies for the position of IG for State and USAID at a time when State and USAID are engaged in sensitive matters impacting U.S. national security interests around the world. These challenges include the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, civil unrest in Sudan, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and increased aggression by China, Iran, and North Korea. The prolonged vacancy for IG at Treasury could also hamper robust oversight of COVID-19 related spending and mitigation of financial risk and instability. Ongoing vacancies weaken IG offices, because temporary leadership is not well-suited for long-term planning and decision making,” continued Chairman Comer. “We respectfully request that you immediately nominate, and work to expeditiously confirm, qualified, independent individuals to serve as IGs for those agencies.”

The letter to President Biden can be found here.