Issa Statement on MMS Chief’s Resignation

Published: May 27, 2010

WASHINGTON. D.C. – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) released the following statement today regarding the resignation of Minerals and Management Service (MMS) chief Elizabeth Birnbaum:

“This is an agency that has been over-run by corruption and incompetence spanning multiple Administrations and multiple personnel.  While leadership changes are necessary and a good first step, there are much larger issues that cannot be addressed by just re-shuffling the deck.  In the past ten years, there have been 20 reports by the GAO, Inspectors General and the Congress that have all gone ignored.  It wasn’t until we were immersed in an unprecedented catastrophe that anyone in government decided to take action.

“As has been exhaustively documented, the problems at MMS aren’t just limited to them but also extend to their relationship with the Department of Interior.  We are seeing the result of a broken bureaucracy with a dysfunctional culture that is in desperate need of substantial and immediate reform.”

Last October, Issa introduced H.R. 3736, which would strip the Department of the Interior of its management responsibilities for the Minerals Management Service (MMS) and make the troubled collector of oil, mineral, and natural gas revenues an independent agency.  The case for the legislation is made in an Oversight and Government Reform Committee Republican staff reportwhich concludes MMS will benefit from a divorce from the Department of the Interior and the creation of dedicated funding, a new management structure, and leadership focused on MMS’ unique role in collecting royalties owed to the American people.

Related Documents

Name Document
H.R. 3736
Oversight & Government Reform Committee Republican Staff Report