Grassley, Hassan Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Transparency and Accountability within the Federal Government
Oct 27, 2020
Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Jody Hice (R-GA) Also Introduce Companion Legislation in the U.S. House
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), along with U.S. Representatives Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Jody Hice (R-Ga.), are introducing bipartisan legislation to increase transparency and accountability within the federal government. The Oversight.gov Authorization Act would formally authorize the establishment and maintenance of a website to help the public more easily access reports that have been generated by the independent work of Inspectors General (IGs).
“A government of the people must be accountable to the people. Oversight.gov helps to bring together the great work of our Inspectors General from across the bureaucracy on one comprehensive website for the American people. This one-stop-shop for transparency is essential to improving accountability in the information age,” Senator Grassley said.
“Inspectors General play a critical role in ensuring that hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being put to good use, and it is important that their findings are easily accessible to the public,” Senator Hassan said. “I am pleased to join Senator Grassley and our colleagues in the House of Representatives in introducing this bipartisan legislation to support the independence and integrity of the IG community by codifying and authorizing funding for a website where the public can access IG reports and get more information on how federal dollars are being spent.”
“Our bill will allow for crucial improvements to be made to Oversight.gov, a central online location for all federal Inspectors General to publish their reports,” Representative Lieu said. “IGs are critical to rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in our government, and this website will make their findings more accessible to the American people. I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan bill to increase transparency in the IG community.”
“The inspector general community is on the frontlines in combatting waste, fraud, and abuse across federal agencies on behalf of the American taxpayer,” Representative Hice said. “The Oversight.gov Authorization Act is an important step in promoting and protecting the work of inspectors general, enabling the public to view firsthand the need for greater accountability and transparency in our government. This bicameral, bipartisan legislation is a commonsense measure that all of Congress can get behind, and I look forward to working with my colleague Rep. Ted Lieu, as well as Senators Chuck Grassley and Maggie Hassan, in seeing this bill across the finish line.”
In 2017, the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), an independent government entity that oversees the Offices of Inspectors General, launched Oversight.gov, a website used to house public reports and data issued by IGs to improve government transparency. The bipartisan Oversight.gov Authorization Act would formally authorize the establishment and maintenance of this website to help improve the public’s access to IG reports and other related material, as well as help whistleblowers report waste, fraud, and abuse.
Additionally, the bill would improve accountability over funds related to COVID-19 federal spending and the work of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee by bolstering the webpage dedicated to housing this information as mandated under the CARES Act.
The bill is endorsed by the Campaign for Accountability, R Street Institute, Common Cause, Government Accountability Project, and Project On Government Oversight. CIGIE was consulted during the bill’s formation. Legislative text is available HERE.
Grassley and Hassan previously led their colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation to help strengthen protections for IGs by requiring any administration to provide “substantive rationale, including detailed and case-specific reasons” prior to removing an IG.