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Monday, October 08, 2018

Whats an Inspector General?

My college roommate writes.

Who you gonna call? Inspectors General.  By John F. Sopko in The Hill

 In 1984, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd popularized that line – “Who you gonna call?” – from the theme to “Ghostbusters.” In 2018, however, “if there’s something weird/and it don’t look good,” the safest call may be to an inspector general. From allegations of FBI skullduggery, to accusations of profligate spending by cabinet offices, to theft and corruption surrounding the $126 billion spent on Afghanistan’s reconstruction, the inspector general community is increasingly in the news and relied upon for unvarnished, independent assessments on matters of grave national concern.

While many Americans, including some government officials, don’t know what an inspector general is, the concept is hardly new. Most Offices of Inspectors General were created by Congress in 1978, but the history of IGs goes back to 1778, when George Washington nominated Friedrich von Steuben to the newly created post of Inspector General of the Continental Army.

Von Steuben’s heirs – the 72 serving federal inspectors general – identify waste, fraud, and abuse in their respective agencies, and arrest those who steal from U.S. taxpayers.

This independent work is important – but it is also critical that inspectors general support Congress as it carries out its oversight obligations. Woodrow Wilson wrote that “it is the proper duty of a representative body to look diligently into every affair of government …the informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function.” .... " 

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