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Public Statements

Letter to President Obama

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

In a letter to President Obama on Wednesday, U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged the administration to fill 10 vacant federal agency inspector general positions with qualified individuals, highlighting the need for strong oversight and the critical role of inspectors general in rooting out waste and inefficiency within the federal bureaucracy. In their letter, the Senators referenced the recent inspector general (IG) report that uncovered lavish spending and mismanagement at the General Services Administration.

The IG positions require either an agency appointment or a presidential nomination and subsequent Senate confirmation. Currently, four of the 10 positions have been vacant for more than 1,000 days, including the IG position at the State Department. The Senators also expressed concerns regarding the lack of permanent IGs at the Defense Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as the lack of a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

"Inspectors general are critical in rooting out government waste, mismanagement, inefficient federal programs, and fraudulent spending by federal employees and contractors," the Senators wrote. "Americans deserve to know that their hard-earned tax dollars are being used wisely and efficiently by federal agencies and departments. As elected officials, we have a responsibility to ensure that all federal agencies have proper oversight through highly qualified, permanent inspectors general."

AYOTTE/RUBIO LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA:

Dear President Obama:

We write to urge the administration to expeditiously fill ten vacant federal agency inspector general positions with qualified, experienced individuals. As you know, these positions either require an agency appointment or a presidential nomination and subsequent Senate confirmation. Currently, four of the ten positions have been vacant for more than 1,000 days, and five of the ten are cabinet level positions. We are particularly concerned that the State Department inspector general position has been vacant since January 2008 - more than four years.

In light of the important role that permanent inspectors general play in ensuring proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars, we are requesting information explaining the reasons for the delay in filling the vacant inspector general positions at the Department of State, Department of Labor, Department of the Interior, National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Defense, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the position of Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. We also request that the administration provide us with estimated target dates for agency appointments or presidential nominations for each of the vacant positions.

Inspectors general are critical in rooting out government waste, mismanagement, inefficient federal programs, and fraudulent spending by federal employees and contractors. A September 2011 Government Accountability Office report found that inspectors general generated more than $43 billion in potential savings through audits and investigations in fiscal year 2009, representing an $18 return per dollar spent on inspectors general. Most recently, an inspector general report uncovered a troubling pattern of mismanagement and lavish spending within the General Services Administration.

With a $15.6 trillion national debt, our nation faces a grave fiscal crisis. Americans deserve to know that their hard-earned tax dollars are being used wisely and efficiently by federal agencies and departments. As elected officials, we have a responsibility to ensure that all federal agencies have proper oversight through highly qualified, permanent inspectors general.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


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