Issa scolds IG about slow reporting

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, criticized the General Services Administration’s Inspector General Brian Miller April 16 at a hearing about overspending at GSA's conference in Las Vegas.

He told Miller he was "more than a little concerned" it took so long for the IG to tell his committee about the extravagant conference, saying that the IG should have contacted the committee much earlier in its investigation of the Western Regions Conference. Issa said he wants to be in the loop when such instances of waste and abuse come to light.

“It is highly unusual for us not to receive a heads-up much sooner,” Issa told Miller.

Issa’s committee has jurisdiction for oversight throughout the government.

“Obviously, one of the concerns we have is that we need to know, from a reform standpoint, from an oversight standpoint, earlier, not later,” he said.

Miller quickly acknowledged that his office should have told the oversight committee about the report, instead of have the chairman learn about it so late in the process.

“I’m receiving your message that we need to come to you sooner, much sooner,” he said.

But Miller said he wanted to “nail down all the facts” of the investigation before it went to print. These reports are sensitive and contain criminal conduct, he said.

Issa gave clear message to Miller and all the IGs about telling his committee about upcoming reports and investigations. He said he and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the committee’s ranking member, intend to send out to all federal IGs guidance that spells out how the committee expects to stay in contact with the IGs' offices. If it doesn’t help, he said he will draft legislation.


 

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Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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