April 18, 2013

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after Secretary Kerry announced that the State Department is taking steps to fill its critical inspector general vacancy during a Senate Foreign Relations hearing earlier today:

“Inspectors General provide critical oversight for our government agencies and taxpayers.  We need a permanent inspector general at the State Department, so I’m encouraged by Secretary Kerry’s announcement this morning that a candidate is being sent over to the White House today. As I’ve repeatedly said before, there are too many agencies operating without the permanent leadership in place to improve oversight and accountability and ultimately save billions in taxpayer dollars.  

“The State Department has been without a permanent IG, and as a result, without proper oversight, for more than 5 years.  I take Secretary Kerry’s word seriously and expect he and the president will move as swiftly as possible to appoint a permanent State Department IG, a move that will hopefully create momentum to fill IG vacancies at other agencies.   I look forward to closely considering each IG nomination in the U.S. Senate through the confirmation process.” 

Shaheen has led an ongoing, bipartisan effort toward promoting greater accountability of taxpayer dollars in government spending.  In February, Shaheen called on the President to fill the inspectors general vacancies at six key federal agencies, including the State Department. She recently introduced The Government Contractor Accountability Act of 2013 (S.664), which would make federal agencies more responsive to Inspectors General recommendations when it comes to potential cost-saving measures or on reimbursement for poor contractor performance and cost overruns.  A related provision sponsored by Shaheen cleared the Senate by unanimous consent last month as an amendment to the Senate FY 2014 budget resolution. The amendment also included language encouraging the presidential appointment of permanent IGs.

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