The Inspector General Mandates Reporting Act is a first step to empowering watchdogs

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the authors of The Inspector General Mandates Reporting Act of 2015, issued the following statements after the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs passed their bipartisan legislation to empower inspectors general.

"I'm grateful to work alongside Senator McCaskill on this common-sense step toward making sure that Washington tackles the big issues with more transparency and less partisan shouting. Inspector generals keep Washington accountable and we need to make sure they have the flexibility and resources to protect taxpayers."

“This legislation is an important first step in our effort to give government watchdogs more flexibility to conduct rigorous oversight where it’s needed most," said Senator McCaskill. "We’ve got to ensure that inspectors general—the eyes and ears of taxpayers—aren’t bogged down by unnecessary reporting requirements and instead are able to focus their attention on areas of the government where waste, fraud, and abuse are most likely.”

Background:

Under current law, every inspector general is required to produce any number of reports to Congress every year, many of which are out of date or little used.

The Inspector General Mandates Reporting Act of 2015, introduced by Sasse and McCaskill, is the first step in a multi-step process to identify, and then eliminate, unnecessary work requirements with the goal of freeing up resources for government watchdogs.

The bill would create a comprehensive list of reports that inspectors general are required to give Congress, as well as a list of recommendations for reports that are no longer necessary. Each office of inspector general would have 60 days to identify every report they are required by law to complete, and send the list to the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), the IG coordinating body, along with recommendations for modifying or eliminating them. CIGIE would then have 60 additional days to send a comprehensive list to Congress, along with a list of recommendations.

In the past several years, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has passed several pieces of legislation aimed at repealing old mandates that tie up agency resources and cost taxpayers millions. Senators Sasse and McCaskill plan to review the list of IG mandates and introduce legislation in the future to eliminate those no longer needed.