Four leading Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee today sent a joint letter to President Barack Obama asking him to nominate a candidate for the long vacant position of State Department Inspector General. Signatories on the letter included House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings, Subcommittee on National Security Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Ranking Member John F. Tierney.
"The Department has not had a Senate-confirmed Inspector General since 2008, which is the longest vacancy of any of the 73 Inspector General positions across the federal government," the four Members state in their letter to the President. "During your entire first term as President, you did not nominate anyone to serve in this critical position. This failure evidences a clear disregard for the Inspector General Act and the will of Congress."
"In the context of the upcoming confirmation hearings for Senator John Kerry as your nominee to become the next Secretary of State, we are sure that the question of who you plan to nominate to serve as Inspector General for the State Department will be a top priority for Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle."
On May 10, 2012, the Committee held a hearing on Inspector General (IG) vacancies, which found bipartisan agreement that a lack of permanent leadership compromises the effectiveness of investigative offices. According to the Foreign Service Act of 1980, in addition to investigating government waste, fraud and abuse, the State Department Inspector General is responsible for inspecting the many Department bureaus and posts around the world.