Senators Seeking to Improve Inspector General Power

Posted on March05, 2015
Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) proposed a new bill that would give "inspectors general more tools to investigate agencies and ferret out improper payments, and it helps ensure the independence of our federal watchdogs." Congress recently heard complaints for several federal inspectors general about stonewalls from agencies during investigations. In addition to the new bill, the senators sent letters to 72 federal inspectors general requesting information about unimplemented recommendations or interference from agencies in…

Legislators Introduce Bill to Create CFPB Inspector General

Posted on March02, 2015
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau currently shares an inspector general with the Federal Reserve. The current inspector general is appointed by the Federal Reserve chairman. A new bill introduced in Congress wants to create a position to oversee the CFPB that would be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. While a previous attempt at legislation in December 2013 did not move forward, lawmakers feel the broad authority of the agency needs oversight. Congress currently has no oversight…

FBI, Multiple OIGs Investigating Georgia President Charged With Bank Fraud

Posted on February23, 2015
A former bank president was charged on February 12th for his role in a bank fraud scheme in which he is alleged to have hidden underperforming and at-risk loans from the bank and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), among others, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore of the Middle District of Georgia. The case is being investigated by the FBI, the Department of Treasury’s Special Inspector…

DOE OIG Reports $21M Conference Spending

Posted on February20, 2015
The Department of Energy Office of Inspector General released a report citing extravagant spending by the department over the course of 16 months. An investigation of 300 Department of Energy conferences held from April 2013 to September 2014 turned up many social events that should not have taken place. According to the report, these events included "casino night, Super Bowl party, golf tournament, banquet on a dinner cruise boat, dinner at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and a tour and…

Green Card Program Under Investigation by DHS IG

Posted on February16, 2015
The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General has been investigating a program that allows foreign nationals to receive visas or Green Cards by investing in approved American business ventures. The program is known as EB-5 and was previously run by Alijandro Mayorkas. Critics cite the ability to buy visas and Green Cards as a threat to national security and unfair to those immigrants who can't afford the high price tag of $500,000 to $1,000,000. An ABC news investigation turned up…

EPA OIG Finds Human Resource Faults Within Own Office

Posted on February11, 2015
The Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General released a report citing cracks in the hiring and payroll practices. The two major problems uncovered were that managers did not "verify the employment history or references of job candidates and hasn't always followed internal overtime policies or guidelines for reporting time and attendance." Unchecked backgrounds could result in the hiring of less than qualified candidates, or candidates with a history of deception. The report recommended that the office "require verification of…

TIGTA Reports Hiring Problems at IRS

Posted on February09, 2015
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report criticizing the Internal Revenue Service for rehiring employees who had left the agency with performance and conduct issues. Over a three year period, 824 of the over 7,000 former employees rehired had been disciplined during past employment. The report found a disturbing trend "that one in five of the rehired employees with past problems had new conduct or performance issues during the period under review." According to the Office of…

USPS OIG Estimates USPS Brand Value

Posted on February04, 2015
The United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General has released an estimation of brand valuation at $3.6 billion. This marks the first time the agency has conducted a formal brand valuation. The OIG used consulting firm Premier Quantitative Consulting (PQC) to assist in the valuation. In addition to conducting the valuation, PQC also "asserts there is still untapped value in the Postal Service brand and suggests ways the Postal Service can enhance some of its brand attributes." A brand…

Utah Officials Pushing to Create New OIG

Posted on February02, 2015
Utah Governor Gary Herbert is leading the push for the creation of a state Office of Inspector General. Governor Herbert announced in his State of the State address he is "working with several lawmakers and state Attorney General Sean Reyes" to create the new office. The lawmakers plan to introduce the proposal as a bill this year. A key reason for an independent ethics office is a bribery scandal involving former Attorney General John Swallow. "Swallow, who has denied wrongdoing,…

New Inspector General Named for Texas HHSC

Posted on January29, 2015
Stuart W. Bowen Jr. has been named new inspector general for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission by Governor Greg Abbott. Bowen has previous experience as the former inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. The Office of the Inspector General has been troubled with questions about leadership from Governor Rick Perry. Appointing a new inspector general is the first step in renewing trust in the agency. Read more at Statesman