Grassley Releases Report on Lack of Inspector General Oversight
at the International Trade Commission
WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today released a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the lack of Inspector General (IG) oversight at the International Trade Commission (ITC). Although, the Inspector General Act requires that agencies appoint an IG to detect waste, fraud, and abuse, the ITC failed to fill the position for more than four years. Instead, the GAO report found, ITC relied on "acting" and "temporary" appointments for most of the period between November 2005 and December 2009. For 17 months during that time, ITC operated with neither an acting nor a temporary IG, according to the GAO report.
"Agencies need to understand that Inspector General oversight is not optional," Grassley said. "The law requires that they have an IG on the job and that the IG be given the resources and access to information necessary to do the job. The ITC needs to finish implementing the GAO's recommendations for corrective action as soon as possible to ensure that there is adequate oversight of the agency from now on."
GAO also found that the ITC failed to support the temporary and acting IGs with policies and procedures to ensure access to agency records. The ITC failed to provide notice and coordination with the temporary IG on a criminal referral to the Justice Department. And, the ITC kept the IG's budget flat while its own budget increased by 23 percent.
Grassley is ranking member of the Committee on Finance, with jurisdiction over international trade, and a long-time advocate for inspectors general.
The GAO report on the ITC is available here.