Oversight Committee Approves Bipartisan Inspector General Empowerment Legislation

Published: Sep 17, 2014

Today, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee adopted bipartisan inspector general reform legislation introduced by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). The Committee approved H.R. 5492, Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2014as amended and reported the bill favorably to the House by a voice vote. This legislation would amend the Inspector General Act of 1978 to strengthen the independence of Inspectors General by authorizing Inspectors General to write testimonial subpoenas for federal government contractors and former federal employees.

Chairman Issa: “With Inspectors General facing obstruction by agencies, this legislation provides much-needed tools to our independent watchdogs as they work to reduce agency waste and mismanagement. The provision of testimonial subpoena authority will enhance the ability of Inspectors General to conduct thorough audits and investigations. This reform sends a message of congressional support for full and timely compliance with the important work of Inspectors General, and I thank my colleagues for their support.”

Ranking Member Cummings: “The Inspector General Empowerment Act is a bipartisan bill that would provide important authorities to help IGs conduct oversight of federal agencies. IGs are the watchdogs of taxpayer dollars and this bill will support their critical work in combating waste, fraud, and abuse.”

Rep. Meadows: “Under this Administration, inspectors general have encountered unprecedented hindrance to their oversight efforts. This important legislation will ensure that IGs, who provide impartial insight into the conduct and management of federal agencies, will not be politically stonewalled. I am grateful to Chairman Darrell Issa and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings for their leadership on this important bill.”

The Committee also approved H.R. 5229, Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2014 by a voice vote, reporting it favorably to the House. H.R. 5229 was introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and co-sponsored by Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census Chairman Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings. This legislation would provide sick leave to newly hired disabled veterans for medical care related to their injuries.

You can see a complete list of the bills passed in today’s markup here.