Tester to government watchdogs: Americans need you
Senator tells Inspectors General their work ‘saves taxpayers billions, builds trust’
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today told a group of the nation’s leading government watchdogs that their work saves taxpayers money, holds officials accountable and rebuilds trust in government.
Speaking to an annual gathering of Inspectors General – federal investigators whose mission it is to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in government – Tester said the inspectors’ jobs are more critical than ever with taxpayer dollars “at a premium” and skepticism of government high after recent federal overreach.
“In this tough financial climate, we need to empower folks who are willing to move to the frontlines in the fight against waste, fraud and abuse,” Tester said. “The American people deserve that, and they want to see the results. We must make sure every dollar is spent as wisely as possible, and I’m proud to stand with you in this fight.”
Tester addressed the conference as the new chairman of the Senate Government Affairs subcommittee dedicated to improving government efficiency and effectiveness. He said he would empower government watchdogs and help them make sure taxpayer dollars are getting to Americans in their communities.
Tester highlighted a recent report showing that the federal government could save $67 billion if it implements thousands of unmet watchdog recommendations. He also noted that there are currently eight federal departments or agencies that lack a permanent Inspector General.
“Your hard work not only keeps federal agencies on a tighter leash and running more efficiently, but it also helps change minds,” Tester said. “The value of your work cannot be overstated and strong, confirmed Inspectors General will stop more abuse. I’ll keep pressing the Administration and Congress until the job is done.”
“It won’t be easy,” Tester said as he concluded his remarks. “But we’re going to push policies that force government agencies to work together and deliver services to the ground.”
Tester’s subcommittee will hold its first hearing on Thursday. It will identify ways that federal agencies can better work together, and with local providers, to improve the delivery of health care to rural America.