Inspector General Reform Act of 2015 Sent for Consideration

Posted on May22, 2015
A new bill has been approved by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to give inspectors general more subpoena power. Currently, "federal employees who choose to retire rather than face internal punishment" cannot be compelled to give testimony. This has limited the ability of the OIG to fully investigate employees if they are no longer employed by the agency. The new legislation proposes given inspectors general "the power to subpoena former federal employees and contractors to testify in cases…

Push to Create IG for Affordable Care Act

Posted on May20, 2015
Representative Peter Roskam, R-IL., introduced legislation that would create a "special inspector general for monitoring the Affordable Care Act, or SIGMA." Since the implementation of the website nearly two years ago, the program has had reports of cost overruns, increased prices, and lost work hours. According to Roskam, the legislation "will force disclosure, and the public then has choices about how it wants to move forward." The bill has support from Tim Murphy, R-PA, Tom Cole, R-OK, Tom Marino…

Investigation into $70 Million in Overdue Mine Safety Fines

Posted on May18, 2015
The Labor Department Inspector General is conducting an audit of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) following the circulation of a NPR and Mine Safety and Health News series. The series "reported failure of federal regulators to collect nearly $70 million in overdue safety fines. Most are two to 10 years late; some go back decades." In addition to breaking down the number of delinquent mine owners violations, the series found that the injury rate was 50% higher at…

TSA Under Scrutiny from DHS Inspector General

Posted on May16, 2015
The U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing to discuss "Transportation Security: Are Our Airports Safe?" Three witnesses offered their opinions on the current state of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA). All witnesses were concerned the the agency was not meeting current expectations. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth discussed audits conducted that repeatedly find "vulnerabilities caused by human and technology based failures." He made a strong point that "TSA faces a…

Defense IG Announces New Principal Deputy Inspector General

Posted on May15, 2015
Following the recent departure of Lynne Halbrooks as Principal Deputy Inspector General for the Department of Defense, Inspector General Jon T. Rymer has "announced the selection of Mr. Glenn A. Fine" to the position. Fine will officially begin his duties June 1, 2015. Most recently, Fine worked in the private sector as a partner at Dechert LLP. While there, his focus was White Collar & Security Litigation. Prior to that position, Fine was Inspector General of the U.S. Department of…

Montreal Whistleblower Complaints Triple After OIG Office Created

Posted on May12, 2015
The number of whistle-blowing complaints about wrongdoing at the city of Montreal nearly tripled in 2014 with the creation of the city’s corruption watchdog, the inspector general. Six of the 308 complaints received through Montreal’s whistle-blowing hotline, which is now managed by Inspector General Denis Gallant’s office, were transferred to Quebec’s permanent anti-corruption squad, UPAC, for investigation, Gallant’s first report as inspector general reveals. Read more at The Montreal Gazette.

New Inspector General Named for Illinois Executive Office

Posted on May07, 2015
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has announced a new Inspector General to serve in the position vacated by Ricardo Meza in April. Maggie Hickey will take over the position July 13. Prior to her appointment, Hickey "worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois" and as chief of staff to Republican U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois. She has specialized in financial crimes and special prosecution, "where she prosecuted crimes such as health care fraud, money laundering,…

Bill Introduced to Require Federal Inspectors General to Make Findings Public

Posted on April28, 2015
In response to the failures at the Veterans Affairs Department, Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis) and every other House member from Wisconsin sponsored a bill that would "bar inspectors general in the federal government from keeping from the public the findings of their investigations." The bipartisan sponsorship could help the bill pass more easily. The inspector general at the VA did not release findings of an investigation into opiate prescriptions at facility in Wisconsin. Rep. Kind initiated the complaint that triggered…

State Department IG Wants More Separation from IT Department

Posted on April24, 2015
Steve Linick, the Inspector General for the State Department, is concerned about the access available to his system by the State Department IT department. At a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on State Department management, Linick addressed his concerns about the security of the State Department's computer network. According to Linick, "we've looked at security from a systemic point of view, we really need to be independent from the department." Since the OIG could be investigating individuals with…

FDIC Inspector General: Agency Needs to Better Combat Hackers

Posted on April20, 2015
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. needs to do a better job ensuring banks are safe from attacks by hackers, a government watchdog said in a report released earlier this month. The Inspector General found “cyberattack risk” should be an explicit priority for FDIC examiners, something that currently isn’t the case. Read More at The Wall Street Journal.