Calls for Oversight Agenda Committed to Rooting Out Waste, Fraud and Abuse
WASHINGTON D.C. – Speaking in Philadelphia at the “Focus on Recovery” 2010 Biennial National Procurement and Grant Fraud Conference, Rep. Darrell Issa, the Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, highlighted the importance of working with the Inspector General (IG) community to root out waste, fraud and abuse.
“We are as close to a team as we’ve ever been starting in January…we have to be teaming to do the same thing and that’s going to be a challenge…to find ways to make it possible for literally thousands of people whose job it is to root out waste, fraud and abuse in government, to do their job and do it without fear of interference either from Congress or unreasonably the Executive Branch you report to,” Issa said. “There are opportunities for income without tax increases, there are opportunities to make people pay their fair share and there are certainly opportunities to ensure that only those entitled to payments get them.”
Issa stressed the need to work with the IG community to root out waste and duplicity within the federal bureaucracy. “But if we’re going to have my Committee, which includes the term ‘reform’ in it, be able to do its job, we’re going to need sources of waste that go beyond corruption,” said Issa. “Sources of waste that go into the question of why do we have, even within one cabinet position, 7 or 8 different groups doing the same thing…to find opportunities where between the cracks, between different agencies, the same money is being spent when it only needs to be spent once.”
Issa, who has called for new reforms such as granting all Inspectors General with subpoena authority (currently only one of the 74 IG’s have it) said, “I’ve got to ensure that if you do your job, you will never be punished for it…if you push the limit of what you think you can investigate, you will be cooperated with, you will get the information you want and if you release it in the appropriate way, you will keep your job.”
The conference was co-sponsored by the Recovery Board, the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service, and the National Procurement Fraud Task Force, which was recently rolled into the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. More than 500 investigators, auditors, analysts and prosecutors attended the conference.