WASHINGTON—House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)) released the following statement in response to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion on Inspector General (IG) access to documents:
“Today’s opinion places another roadblock in the path of IGs as they work to hold federal agencies accountable and ferret out waste, fraud, and abuse. Nothing should interfere with an IG’s ability to review agency documents. The law is clear on the fundamental right of IGs to have unfettered access to all records available from their respective agencies. I fully support DOJ Inspector General Horowitz in carrying out his mission and will continue to work with him and the Congress to ensure nothing impedes his ability to perform his duties.”
Inspector Generals are the frontline defense in ensuring good government. In 2013 alone, the IG community made recommendations with potential cost savings to the taxpayer of over $50 billion. In its first hearing of the year, the Committee focused on the challenges faced by certain IGs to access and independence. On May 19, 2015 a bipartisan bill (H.R. 2395) was passed out of committee providing IGs with the tools needed to strengthen their ability to identify fraud within agencies. On October 16, the H.R. 2395 was amended in response to the DOJ OLC opinion.