Daines urges Trump to nominate Inspector General candidates

By Missoula Current

Sen. Steve Daines on Tuesday urged President Donald Trump to nominate qualified candidates for Inspector General, saying as many as 10 federal agencies currently lack independent oversight.

Daines said most government agencies have an independent overseer who is responsible for auditing federal programs to improve government operations and to guard against fraud, waste and abuse.

They also investigate whistleblower claims and allegations of wrongdoing.

“The lack of a permanent leader threatens to impede the ability of these offices to conduct the oversight and investigations necessary to ensure that taxpayer dollars are protected,” Daines said. “The lack of a permanent IG can create the potential for conflicts of interest and diminish the essential independence of IGs.”

In a letter to the president signed by 12 senators from both parties, Daines suggested that 10 vacancies exist in presidentially appointed IGs and three for agency-appointed IGs.

They include the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior, among others.

“Many of these positions have been vacant for over one year or more, including the Department of the Interior Inspector General position,” Daines wrote in his letter. “We understand that almost all of these vacancies occurred prior to your inauguration as president.”