Concerns have been raised after some of the government’s largest cabinet agencies have been without a permanent inspector general for up to five years.
Nine of the 73 government departments currently lack an inspector general, five of which are supposed to be nominated by the president and must be confirmed with senate approval; smaller agencies appoint their own and do not need approval.
The State Department, for example, has been without an inspector general since Howard Krongard left the post in early 2008. And the Department of Labor has been without one since 2009.
Concerns have been raised by good-government groups that the lack of oversight means abuses at agencies are going unchecked. One group, the Project on Government Oversight, is critical of government waste and has launched a website that tracks open vacancies within different agencies.
Sixteen Republican senators wrote to President Barack Obama in January urging him to nominate candidates to fill the vacancies, with particular concern over the vacant State Department position.
According to White House spokesmen Eric Schultz, the administration was “working diligently” to fill the position with the best candidates available.
‘The administration supports the efforts of all IG offices, including those currently being led by acting IGs, as they work to ensure that taxpayers get the good government they deserve,” Schultz said.