Civil service leaders on both sides of Congress have asked the White House to speed up nominations for vacant IG positions, with a letter from a dozen senators saying that “while many acting IGs have served admirably in the absence of permanent leadership, the lack of a permanent leader threatens to impede the ability of these offices to conduct the oversight and investigations necessary to ensure that taxpayer dollars are protected, public safety risks are identified, and that whistleblowers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse are protected.”
“In addition, the lack of a permanent IG can create the potential for conflicts of interest and diminish the essential independence of IGs,” said a letter from most members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. IG nominations pass through that panel.
The chair and ranking Democrat on the counterpart House Oversight and Government Reform committee meanwhile sent a similar letter separately.
Currently there is no confirmed IG at Interior, Energy, DoD, CIA, OPM, SSA, NSA, SBA, the Export-Import Bank and the intelligence community. Other agencies, including the Postal Service and the FEC have vacant positions that they can fill without Senate confirmation.
The IG position at Interior has been filled on only an acting basis since 2009, while that has been the case for more than a year at Energy, DoD and the CIA.