The Trump administration’s latest move to limit oversight.
Early on, the aides of the current administration threatened that they might replace all the special Office of Inspector General (OIG) inspectors. In other words fire all the inspectors. As reported by the New York Times, this would be the first time any president ever did this.
Instead , they have refused to hire new inspectors to fill open positions, appoint department heads, and have slashed budgets. This makes it difficult for the agency to function properly.
The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency is a special and independent group in the government that is being impacted by this strategy. Their job is to audit, evaluate, and inspect the federal government. The inspectors are career employees of the government who look to erase fraud and waste. It is no wonder The Trump administration wants to cripple this department.
You can read Michael Horowitz, chairman of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency’s, full report online which he gave before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform concerning “Empowering the Inspectors General”. In 2015, this committee saved the government almost 26 billion dollars. Over 8.5 billion were questionable expenses that violated a law, regulation, or were not documented correctly. This office identifies waste, fraud, criminal activity among many other things related to the government actions. The report details actions and investigations.
In 2012, former President Obama signed the enhancement of the “Whistle Blowers Act” to make it easy for informants to come forward with information concerning abuse and fraud in the government. This gave the agency something more to work with in making sure the government works correctly.
No one is immune to this agency. It covers workers and management. Agents are sworn law enforcement agents who are able to perform the audits. The outcomes can be criminal, civil, or administrative. They have access to all information including emails, voice mails, and instant messaging. You can only imagine why the Trump administration doesn’t want these guys around.
Featured image: By DoD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro/Released – https://www.dvidshub.net/image/3114225/58th-presidential-inauguration, Public Domain, Link