For Immediate Release
Congress Passes Bill Strengthening Federal Agency Watchdogs
Statement by Francesca Grifo, Union of Concerned Scientists
WASHINGTON - Congress unanimously approved legislation on Saturday that will improve accountability within the federal government by granting agency inspectors general greater independence from officials at the agencies they oversee. The bill was championed by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Ct.), and Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).
The "Inspectors General Reform Act of 2008," H.R. 928, requires that all inspectors general maintain independent Web sites to receive anonymous complaints about waste, fraud and abuse at federal agencies, giving federal employees a secure way to report concerns about agency conduct.
The bill also establishes a Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, reinforcing the importance of inspectors general working together to identify systemic problems related to waste, fraud and abuse at federal agencies.
Below is a statement by Francesca Grifo, director of the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
If you think a better world is possible, support our people-powered media model today
The corporate media puts the interests of the 1% ahead of all of us. That's wrong. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.
If you believe the survival of independent media is vital to a healthy democracy, please step forward with a donation to nonprofit Common Dreams today:
"Congress took an important step to promote a culture of accountability and transparency across federal agencies. This measure will help inspectors general remain independent from inappropriate influence or pressure from the government agencies they oversee, and that inspector general reports are easily accessible to the public.
"By requiring that all inspectors general maintain independent Web sites with a safe mechanism for anonymously reporting waste, fraud and abuse, this bill will give federal scientists a safe place to report instances of political interference in their work.
"Inspectors general have conducted numerous investigations exposing abuses of science at federal agencies. For example, a report by the Interior Department inspector general revealed a senior agency official had been bullying scientists and manipulating scientific research. This bill will strengthen their ability to lead these important investigations.
"This legislation is a strong companion to pending federal whistleblower protection legislation, another critical reform that Congress should enact this year to protect public health and safety."
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news outlet. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method: