IGs, Oversight, Reform
The Senate has approved a measure to bolster the roles of inspectors general, the figures in government who have perhaps the main role in providing eyes and ears for American taxpayers.
The Inspector General Reform Act of 2007 would ensure that the IG jobs are filled with qualified folks who can operate independently of the agencies they're responsible for overseeing. Under the legislation, the IG reports and audits would be more readily available to the public.
Sounds like a nice deal for we the people. Does it have a chance of working? A lot of people in and out of the government would like to stop the scrutiny and heat that aggressive IG's bring to bear. I've even heard former government officials -- one who speaks almost in oracular terms about procurement -- say that IG oversight impedes the creativity of government workers. I'm trying to empathize with that one.
Sponsors of the legislation include senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo), Susan Collins (R-Me) and Joseph Lieberman (ID-Ct).
"If we're not looking for ways to cut down on government waste, we aren't doing our job here in Congress," McCaskill said in a press release. "This bill is key to preserving the IGs' role as government watchdogs and making sure they can do their job of rooting out waste in this country."
"This bill is good government legislation at its best. It will strengthen the role of inspectors general as an independent investigative force, making sure that taxpayers' dollars are spent efficiently and effectively while also guaranteeing that IGs themselves be held accountable," Lieberman said.
I'm not sure most people understand how close to the center of government IGs operate. They need robust support and plenty of room to dig deep on behalf of taxpayers.
Or, when it comes to contracting, we could allow the companies to police themselves, as some proponents of procurement reform have suggested.
The magic of the market, I think they call it.
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