When It Comes to Violations, Keeping Congress In The Loop

Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa of California, sent a three paged letter to the government’s inspectors general (earnestly) asking for more communication alerting Congress when serious violations are under investigation.

Darrell Issa wants inspectors general to loop in Congress

The letter cited the 2010 $823,000 GSA spending spree in May, and the failure of that agency’s inspector general to inform Congress of that excess. In that instance, Congress did not get word of the wrongdoing until the Washington Post broke the story on April 2 of this year. “Had Congress been made aware of the waste and excess associated with GSA’s 2010 conference in Las Vegas sooner, we might have viewed differently the annual appropriations bill that increases GSA’s budget authority by more than $410 million,” stated the letter.

Central to Issa’s letter was the “seven-day letter” requirement of the Inspector General Act that requires “particularly flagrant problems” to be reported to Congress within seven days. The “seven-day” requirement has apparently become more of a threat than an actual procedure, sometime causing agencies to change their actions but never informing Congress of the root issue.

What do you think, will this letter increase communication between agency oversight and Congress? Will increased reporting have its intended beneficial effects, or not?

Read a copy of Rep. Issa’s letter here.

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