U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced the
bipartisan Inspector General Testimonial Subpoena Authority Act, which
would give Inspectors General the authority to subpoena former federal
employees, as well as contractors and grantees, for in-person testimony,
strengthening their ability to safeguard taxpayers.
general are on the front lines fighting abuse and misconduct in government, but
time and again, we’ve seen government officials simply leave government service
to avoid scrutiny. This bill empowers inspectors general to compel testimony
from former employees so bad actors in government can’t simply run from
accountability by exiting government,” Senator Grassley said.
must root out government waste and abuse. Strengthening the powers of
Inspectors General so that they can complete their investigations is a
commonsense step we can take to better prevent bad actors from wasting taxpayer
money,” said Senator Hassan. “I’m glad to work with Senator Grassley on
this bipartisan effort and look forward to continuing to work together with my
colleagues to increase accountability and transparency in our government."
Inspectors General conduct oversight over agencies and identify waste, fraud,
and abuse, but individuals can stymie their investigations by refusing to
testify. The bipartisan bill would expand the pool of information that
Inspectors General can compel in the interest of completing any audit or
investigation of the programs and operations of the agency they oversee. The
Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency has long called on
Congress to provide testimonial subpoena authority.
provisions of the bill include:
- Expanding the current subpoena power by allowing all
Inspectors General to subpoena in-person attendance and testimony
necessary to perform the duties of their office. If someone refuses to
obey, Inspectors General have the authority to seek to enforce the
subpoena in U.S. District Court;
- Tasking the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity
and Efficiency, in consultation with the Attorney General, with issuing
guidance to Inspectors General on the use of testimonial subpoenas; and
- Requiring Inspectors General to notify the Attorney
General seven days before issuing a subpoena.
Legislative text is