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Inspector General Office Gutted Under New Law

Enzi, Grassley and Collins Request Transfer of Funds to Avoid Shutdown of Agency Inspector General

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined with several other senators today to request that the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) be able to transfer additional funds to avoid a shutdown of the Office of Inspector General (IG) after a law passed last year gutted funding for the office.  Senator Enzi was joined by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ranking Member on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

“We have been informed by the Office of the Inspector General that this cut will result in a reduction of more than 75 percent of full time personnel in the next several weeks,” the senators wrote.  “Consequently, the office … will be substantially limited in performing the three statutorily required audits, and will have to discontinue all ongoing investigations of waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer resources.”

The need for a functioning IG has been illustrated by recent problems at the agency that include President Obama’s 2009 firing of the last Inspector General after the office found waste, duplication, ineffective spending, and repeated violations of the grant rules for several programs funded by the CNCS.  According to the two most recent semi-annual reports, the CNCS Office of the Inspector General identified more than $959,000 in questionable costs and more than $581,000 in funding that could be used more efficiently.  The office identified more than $4 million in potential funds to be recovered from individuals and grantee organizations found to have engaged in fraud, waste and abuse. The IG also assisted the Justice Department in investigating several criminal matters, including obtaining a guilty plea in a conspiracy to steal more than $325,000 in federal grant funds from American Samoa.

You can read the full letter here.

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