The IG Act directs the OIG to review proposed legislation and regulations relating to the programs and operations of the Department. Although the Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs reviews all proposed or enacted legislation that could affect the Department’s activities, the OIG independently reviews proposed legislation that affects it and legislation that relates to waste, fraud, or abuse in the Department’s programs or operations.
During this reporting period, the OIG commented on the IG Reform Act, which contained a variety of proposed amendments to the IG Act designed to strengthen the independence and accountability of Inspectors General. Among the provisions included in the final version of the IG Reform Act, as enacted on October 14, 2008, were the establishment of a statutory Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency; a requirement that each Inspector General obtain legal advice from a counsel that reports directly to the Inspector General or another Inspector General; and a provision allowing for comments under certain circumstances by Inspectors General on their proposed budgets submitted to Congress. However, a provision contained in the House-passed version of the IG Reform Act that would have provided the OIG with full jurisdiction over allegations throughout the Department – including allegations that are currently within the jurisdiction of the Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility – was deleted from the final bill prior to its passage and enactment.