IGs plead with Congress for help with Obama administration stonewalling

The men and women in charge of overseeing the operations of dozens of federal agencies are pleading with Congress for help overcoming endemic stonewalling in the Obama administration.

Photo: Flopping Aces

In a letter to the House Oversight and Government and Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform committees, 47 inspector generals complained that Eric Holder’s Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Peace Corps are among the agencies that have hindered their work by blocking or delaying access to critical information.

In each case, attorneys at the agencies used the Inspector Generals Act of 1978 to bottle up information, the IGs wrote.

“These restrictive readings of the IG Act represent potentially serious challenges to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”

The Obama administration – allegedly “the most transparent in history” – has no love for outside oversight, apparently.

Remember, it was a damning inspector general’s report released last year that confirmed the IRS had been targeting conservative groups for added oversight based on their names http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201310053fr.pdf, a conclusion the administration still disputes. (Not a “smidgen of corruption,” President Obama said during a Super Bowl interview in February.)

The letter particularly called out the Justice Department for dragging its heels in providing information for one investigation, the Peace Corps for failing to cooperate in a sexual assault investigation and the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to cooperate with a personnel investigation.

But those agencies are far from alone. Throughout the Obama administration, the arrogance and aloofness of the White House is apparently trickling downhill.

“Other Inspectors General have, from time to time, faced similar obstacles to their work, whether on a claim that some other law or principle trumped the clear mandate of the IG Act or by the agency’s imposition of unnecessarily burdensome administrative conditions on access,” the letter states.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security committee, said the letter “underscores the need for congressional review.”

“This is an administration that pledged to be the most transparent in history,” Grassley said in a statement. “Yet, these non-partisan, independent agency watchdogs say they are getting stonewalled. How are the watchdogs supposed to be able to do their jobs without agency cooperation?”

In the Obama world, the question answer itself.

H/T: Washington Times


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