Eye Opener: July 6, 2009
Happy Monday! Inspectors general at five financial regulatory agencies are objecting to legislation that would elevate their positions to the presidential-appointment level, arguing that the move would compromise their ability to conduct independent investigations, The Eye reports in today's Post.
"The bill would elevate the five officials at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
"Supporters of the measure say the five IGs need greater flexibility and more distance between their work and possible interference from agency leadership, especially amid the economic meltdown. But opponents fear that the politics and length of time associated with the appointment process would delay investigations.
"Debate over the bill speaks to the balancing act required of inspectors general who must perform investigations while maintaining cordial lines of communication with agency leadership or the White House. Several approached about the issue declined to speak publicly about their roles."
ALSO: Read the documents obtained by The Eye related to President Obama's dismissal of Gerald Walpin, the inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
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• Cabinet and Staff News: Hillary Rodham Clinton reportedly becomes a mother-in-law the last week of August. Pay free impacts one-third of White House staff. Hilda Solis profiled by the New York Times.
• Report Faults Performance Bonuses for Contractors: Federal agencies have awarded billions in bonuses to contractors regardless of whether the work was deemed satisfactory, according to the GAO.
• Firm Says Agencies are Missing Out on Major Savings Opportunities: The federal government could achieve substantial savings by undertaking operational reforms to boost productivity and increase efficiency, according to a new report from a management consulting firm.
• Bald Eagles at Risk in D.C. ... Thanks to DHS: The only nesting pair in the capital could lose a chunk of its scarce urban habitat to the Department of Homeland Security.
• National Archives' Record-Keeping Lapse: The agency's inspector general has documented thousands of electronic storage devices, including computers and servers, that have gone missing over the past decade from the National Archives and Records Administration.
• TSA Agent Arrested After Avoiding Screening in N.J.: Authorities say Wanda Weems of Newark was detained Friday morning at Newark Liberty International Airport after she boarded a Continental Airlines flight bound for Houston.
• Same-Sex Marriages Pose Challenge for 2010 Census: The agency has said that next year's headcount will report the number of married same-sex couples for the first time, a decision that thrills gay-rights advocates. Adjusting how the Census tallies people is not a simple matter, requiring everything from redesigning computer programs to testing accuracy.
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