Leaders of the IG community have asked Congress for a further expansion of their investigative powers while opposing the Trump administration’s proposed budget levels that they said would hamper their ability to carry out their missions.
Justice Department IG Michael Horowitz, chair of the council of IGs, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that despite enactment last year of the IG Empowerment Act–which made clear that IGs must be granted timely and complete access to all agency information that they deem necessary in their investigations–“there remain concerns about ensuring that agencies give IGs timely access to information.”
Peace Corps IG Kathy Buller, head of the council’s legislation committee, said that one issue involves obtaining information pertinent to their investigations from individuals who have left the government and from subcontractors or subgrantees who have no direct contractual relationship with the government. IGs are seeking authority to subpoena the attendance and testimony by certain witnesses, including any former federal employee.
Regarding IG budgets, Horowitz said that “as careful stewards of taxpayer money, we fully appreciate and respect the importance of carefully and appropriately allocating federal resources. However, given our track record of returning to the federal treasury far more money than we are budgeted, the increasing responsibilities being placed on us through legislation, and our important role in public safety and national security matters, we believe careful consideration should be given before impacting our budgets.”