Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called on President Trump to fill 13 inspector general vacancies in the federal government, including 10 that have been vacant for more than a year.
“Currently, there are Inspector General vacancies in agencies ranging from the Department of Defense to the Social Security Administration,” Senator Feinstein wrote. “While every Inspector General post is important, it is alarming that an agency like the SSA and departments like the DOD have had vacancies for hundreds of days.”
The letter continued: “Leaving departments and agencies without permanent Inspectors General is alarming, as these offices protect Americans and ensure that waste, fraud, and abuse is identified and dealt with.”
Full text of the letter follows:
September 4, 2018
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
I write today to ask that you promptly act to fill vacancies in federal Inspector General offices where a Presidential nomination is necessary.
As of August 27th, a total of 13 vacant Inspector General positions exist within the Executive Branch. Of these, 10 vacancies require a presidential appointment with the advice and consent of the Senate. Yet five of the 10 Inspector General vacancies requiring Senate confirmation do not even have a pending nominee. Ten of the 13 have been vacant for more than a year, and the Department of the Interior post has been vacant since the beginning of 2009.
Currently, there are Inspector General vacancies in agencies ranging from the Department of Defense (DOD) to the Social Security Administration (SSA). While every Inspector General post is important, it is alarming that an agency like the SSA and departments like the DOD have had vacancies for hundreds of days. The Social Security Administration is tasked with overseeing nearly $1 trillion in annual Social Security payments and the Department of Defense protects our nation from foreign military threats. Additionally, other departments and agencies charged with developing U.S. energy policy, promoting housing and urban development, and enforcing federal campaign finance laws are also without permanent Inspectors General.
Inspectors General serve an important role in our government. They provide needed oversight over federal agencies through investigations of waste, fraud and abuse. Inspectors General provide insight into how government can function better, leading to better program delivery and a more transparent federal government. They also provide protections for whistleblowers who come forward to expose unlawful or questionable activity in federal agencies. Leaving departments and agencies without permanent Inspectors General is alarming, as these offices protect Americans and ensure that waste, fraud, and abuse is identified and dealt with.
I ask that your Administration make filling vacant Inspector General posts with qualified individuals a high priority, and work with Congress to ensure the independent oversight functions that Inspectors General are charged with are fulfilled. Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to hearing from you.
United States Senator