Tester Calls for the Immediate Approval of Government Watchdogs

Senator Blasts Congress for Leaving Accountability Positions Open

(U.S. Senate)-Senator Jon Tester today pushed Senate leadership to fill the vacant positions that are responsible for holding federal government agencies accountable.

Tester sent a letter pushing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to confirm the eight current Inspector General (IG) nominations pending before the Senate. IGs are non-partisan, independent officers within federal government agencies whose goal is to increase efficiency and effectiveness in government programs.

“In order to keep our promise to the American people to hold government entities accountable and ensure taxpayer dollars are well spent, we must ensure these vacant IG positions are filled in a timely manner,” Tester wrote. “As permanent leadership slots get filled throughout government agencies in the coming months, IGs oversight role is critical.”

The Senate has received nominations for eight of the current nine IG vacancies across the federal government, but the Senate has not brought these nominees up for a confirmation vote. Agencies that do not have a permanent IG currently include the Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, and Department of Energy.

In 2014, IGs across the federal government saved taxpayers $46.5 billion through audits, program improvements, and investigations.

Earlier this year, Tester led the push to confirm Michael Missal as the IG of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). Prior to Missal’s confirmation, the VA had operated for over two years without a permanent IG.

Tester’s letter to McConnell and Reid is available HERE.