Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Federal Inspectors General send letter of complaint to Congress

Apparently I am not the only one who is having trouble getting information from the Obama Administration. Forty-seven inspectors general submitted a letter to House and Senate Oversight Committee chairs and ranking members of Congress, warning of serious challenges coming from within the government agencies that the IGs are supposed to be monitoring. These agencies are stalling efforts to secure information from what is supposed to be "the most transparent government" in U.S. history. The Inspectors General allege that the agencies are claiming privacy issues, attorney-client privilege and other dubious exemptions to deny the release of information the IGs request in the interests of monitoring government operations and actions. The agencies are also reportedly encumbering the requests with overly burdensome administrative and bureaucratic hurdles, preventing timely responses from the Inspectors General.

This fits the same modus operandi of the federal agencies that have been insolent and uncooperative with us as we look for answers with the STORIS situation. Not only that, but these agencies have essentially ignored official inquiries from Congressmen and Senators related to STORIS. The comparative handful of documents that we have received so far demonstrate a deliberate and constructive effort to create a consolidated front to deflect inquiries from Congressional leaders who have attempted to get answers from EPA, GSA, the Coast Guard and MARAD.

There also seems to be an across-the-board mentality that these agencies are above reproach. I recently read stories where federal agencies told Congressional observers, including Senators and members of the House of Representatives, that they were not allowed to photograph illegal migrants at the southern border during this ongoing crisis with unaccompanied minors flooding into the country. Seriously? Federal agency bureaucrats telling lawmakers they’re not allowed to take pictures?

If the Inspector Generals can’t get information from the Federal Government, what hope does the average citizen have to get answers?

It is rather ironic that Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma was a direct recipient of the letter since he is one of two senators -- the other being former Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina -- who were directly responsible for blocking the donation of STORIS to the STORIS Museum through Congressional action. And whose face pops up with the story link below? Coburn.


Dozens of Inspectors general say federal government hindering oversight - Washington Post

Agency watchdogs tell lawmakers that officials stonewalled probes - The Hill

‘Serious limitations’: Gov’t watchdogs unite in letter slamming Obama administration transparency - Fox News

The letter can be read in its entirety here.

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