INSPECTOR GENERAL REFORM ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - September 25, 2008)
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Mr. DAVIS of Virginia. Madam Speaker, today, we take up H.R. 928, the Improving Government Accountability Act. This legislation is intended to enhance the independence of inspectors general throughout government to improve their ability to monitor and oversee executive branch operations.
Since the enactment of the Inspector General Act of 1978, inspectors general throughout government have played an integral role in identifying waste and mismanagement in government. IGs have also been instrumental in aiding Congress and the executive branch to make government more efficient and effective.
We all agree IGs should operate independently, free from political interference. After all, both agency heads and Congress often rely on IG reports to provide frank assessments of the effectiveness of federal programs.
However, inspectors general should also be part of an agency's management structure--albeit with some independence--rather than a ``fourth branch'' of the Federal Government. If we separate the IGs from the day-to-day operations of the agencies they oversee, IGs will cease to perform a constructive, integrated role and instead would become a ``Monday morning quarterback'' with their function solely second-guessing decisions made by agencies.
The House passed its version of this bill last October. At the time, while I supported the bill, I remained concerned that several of the provisions went too far in isolating inspectors general, removing them from the agency decision-making process.
After the Senate passed its bill in April, we began discussions with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and developed a compromise to both bills--which we are taking up today.
I will support the compromise bill as I believe it adequately addresses my remaining concerns by striking the right balance between IG independence and the appropriate management role of inspectors general.
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