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Tag Archive: IG

Disclosure Responsibliity on Government in IG Reform

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I'd like to elaborate on an important point about the IG reform measure that just passed the Senate.

The measure includes a requirement that the Inspectors General post their reports on their Web sites. This requirement places the responsibility of disclosure on the agencies themselves, rather than on citizens looking form information. The wording of the mandate takes the language of the Freedom of Information Act, which puts the onus on citizens to request information, and uses it to set a standard of full disclosure of IG reports.

That the government should take responsibility for openness, or make disclosure the rule rather than the exception, is one of Ellen's spotlight ideas; a completely open government would render FOIA unnecessary.

We're happy to see such a specific requirement pass the Senate in the spirit of full digital access.

The Inspector General of each agency shall...that is subject to release under...the Freedom of Information Act...post that report or audit (or portion of that report or audit) on the website of the Office of the Inspector General;

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IG Reform Passes Senate

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Since coming across a CRS report on efforts to strengthen the Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs, and IGs), I've been interested in executive oversight structures and the laws that govern them. A section of PublicMarkup.org's Transparency in Government Act even covers IG report publication. It looks like the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and Congress are also intently focused on the issue, as they've just passed a second version of a measure to strengthen Inspectors General.

POGO's blog explains that the Senate just passed S. 2324 (GovTrack, OpenCongress), after, according to POGO,



an amendment offered by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) finally broke through the logjam that had blocked the bill's passage since last November.

For more background on IG reform, see especially POGO's February report, Inspectors General: Many Lack Essential Tools for Independence.

Senator Lieberman is among those praising the measure, which still needs to be reconciled with the House version before going to the President.

S. 2324 would amend Title 5 of the US Code, significantly strengthening the independence and effectiveness of oversight by IGs.

Of particular interest to Sunlight is the provision that Inspectors General post copies of IG reports to their Web sites, (as long as they're subject to FOIA, and therefore not classified or otherwise unfit for publication). The text:

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