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The Inspectors General are probably the most underappreciated and underrated people in the federal government.
The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) was statutorily established as an independent entity within the executive branch. Since then it has been instrumental in identifying fraud, waste, mismanagement, and abuse, as well as developing policies to deal with those problems. As part of the office of the Inspectors General, the Office of Evaluations and Special Projects was created in 2014 to oversee the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. This gives them the following mandate:
ESP is also responsible for reviewing allegations of administrative misconduct by senior officials, and issuing management alerts to highlight urgent need for corrective actions and capping reports on thematic areas of concern. Additionally, ESP is responsible for special evaluations and reviews, including responses to congressional inquiries. The work of this new office complements the work of OIG’s audits, investigations, and inspections by developing a capacity to focus on broader, systemic issues.
Two of the most high-profile investigations that have taken place in recent years include the discovery of 6,400 emails either to or from Lois Lerner of the IRS, and the recent discovery of thousands of text messages that “disappeared,” originally generated by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The tenacity and findings of the Inspectors General across departments are to be lauded; unfortunately, action on those findings has been sadly lacking.
The federal government prohibits political activity in the practicing of one’s duties:
4.1 Prohibition against political activity.
No person employed in the executive branch of the Federal Government, or any agency or department thereof, shall use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or affecting the result thereof. No person occupying a position in the competitive service shall take any active part in political management or in political campaigns, except as may be provided by or pursuant to statute. All such persons shall retain the right to vote as they may choose and to express their opinions on all political subjects and candidates.
As a layperson looking at the Lois Lerner activities, as well as the more recent Strzok/Page situation, the following statements describe at least three violations:
Use official authority or influence to interfere with an election;
Solicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business before their agency;
Engage in political activity while on duty, in a government office, wearing an official uniform or using a government vehicle.
Since the evidence is clear that there has minimally been mismanagement and potentially extreme political bias in the execution of their duties, how can Congress ignore these actions? When will they condemn these activities and insist that they be held accountable? Why bother to have an Inspectors General Agency if there are not consequences for malfeasance?
It seems to me that we have the tools we need to prosecute individuals who blatantly defy federal law. Under President Obama, people chose to defy these restrictions and were essentially allowed to do so. Don’t you think it’s time for Trump, Sessions, and the DOJ to clean house?