Limiting IG office budgets and staffing could “put their critical oversight functions at risk,” according to a report from the Democratic side of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Most of the two dozen IG offices responding to a questionnaire said that hiring restrictions already imposed have hampered their operations and that the prospect of more to come could impair their missions.

For example: the Treasury IG said that staffing freezes will raise the risk of fraud and other criminal activity; the Education IG said that it would have to significantly increase its suspected financial loss threshold for beginning an audit; the Interior IG said it is missing the opportunity to have a greater impact in areas including cybersecurity and fraud in oil and gas royalties; the EPA IG said it will be hindered in its ability to share intelligence information with the FBI and other agencies; and the DoD IG said it would be limited in its oversight of the department’s $300 billion in annual acquisition spending.

At a time when there is a drive to make federal agencies operate efficiently, “reducing funding and staffing at IG offices will be counterproductive,” said the staff report.