Legislation (S-2178) newly offered in the Senate seeks to bring more attention to IG findings that agencies have not addressed by requiring the posting of all open recommendations government-wide on a single site.
“This legislation would allow Congress and the public to keep better tabs on the problems that have been identified at the federal agencies where IGs conduct audits to combat waste, fraud, and abuse – and keep track of whether or not steps have been taken to resolve those problems,” sponsors Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said in a statement.
There is currently no standard requirement for how IGs organize and maintain open recommendations on their websites, and the quality of publicly available information varies from agency to agency, they said.
The bill is the latest in a series of recent moves in Congress, including several hearings, calling attention to recommendations of IGs–as well as of the GAO–that are unresolved, in some cases for years. GAO already has a similar tracking feature on its own site; while IG reports are available on a central site, open recommendations are not centrally indexed in that way.
“It’s often difficult for taxpayers to assess whether a federal agency is listening to inspector general recommendations and making good-faith efforts to correct major issues that could help the federal government work better,” said the statement.