Sen. Carper Underscores Need for Strong and Permanent Inspectors General Across the Federal Government

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, reiterated the need for qualified and permanent Inspectors General (IGs) in federal agencies, and underscored the shared responsibility between the Administration and Congress to ensure that offices of Inspectors General have permanent leadership in place to fulfill their missions at the committee hearing, “Watchdogs Needed: Top Government Investigator Positions Left Unfilled for Years.”

“In everything we do here in Congress, we should be asking ourselves, ‘How do we get better results for less money?’ In that spirit, Inspectors Generals (IGs) and their staffs provide invaluable support to Congress as we work to reduce the federal deficit and encourage more efficient and effective government,” Sen. Carper said. Their efforts are an essential component of robust government oversight, and my Congressional colleagues and I often rely on these offices for their investigations, audits, recommendations, and advice. But if we expect the offices of Inspectors General to meet their missions and get results, it is paramount they have permanent leadership in place. The IG nomination process is a shared responsibility between the Administration and Congress, but the process is bogged down on both ends and discourages well-qualified candidates from serving. I will continue to work with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to find ways not just to reduce the number of vacancies in these key positions, but also to ensure they are filled with highly qualified candidates who will help us root out problems and save money for taxpayers.”

Of the 72 Inspector General positions, 33 require confirmation. There are currently seven vacancies in these Senate-confirmed positions. In March, the Committee sent a letter to President Obama urging him and agency leadership to appoint strong nominees for the Inspectors General vacancies. Since the letter, the President has put forth nominees for three of seven positions, and one of these – the nominee to be Inspector General for the General Services Administration – will be considered by the Committee this month. Earlier this year, the committee approved The Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2015, which would require the Comptroller General to study the number and duration of IG vacancies, examine how these vacancies impact the IG’s ability to carry out their statutorily-required missions, and recommend ways to minimize the duration of vacancies.