Senator Heitkamp Proposes Independent IG Agency

As we approach the 40th anniversary of Congress’ creation of the Inspectors General – the Washington Post notes that “President Jimmy Carter signed the Inspector General Act in October 1978” – Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), the Ranking Member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has proposed changes that she suggests would better enable Inspectors General to carry out their missions within agencies.

“If I were king of the world and could change this, I would make you an independent agency collectively, with assignments to various agencies, and accountable to Congress,” Heitkamp said Wednesday at a Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) event marking the IG Act’s 40th anniversary.

According to Jory Heckman at Federal News Radio, “While Heitkamp acknowledged a major restructuring of the IG community would likely face significant pushback from fellow lawmakers — as have the Trump administration’s plans to shuffle and consolidate agencies — her proposal to restructure the IG community reflects growing frustration on Capitol Hill with the lack of permanent IGs in place at agencies.”

Heckman also notes research from the Project on Government Oversight which indicates “13 agencies currently lack a confirmed, permanent IG, and more than 10 of those have been without a permanent IG for more than a year.”

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