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Obama Makes Second IG Nomination in Two Weeks

President Barack Obama made progress toward filling the federal government’s longest-running inspector general (IG) vacancy with his nomination of Steve A. Linick for inspector general of the Department of State.

The Department of State has been without an IG since January 16, 2008, when former IG Howard Krongard stepped down amid controversy. Since that time, Harold Geisel has been serving as the deputy IG despite concerns from POGO and others about the strength and independence of Geisel’s oversight.

President Obama went his entire first term without addressing the vacancy. In April 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry said he had suggested a nominee and the delay was due to the the White House’s vetting process. Over the past few weeks, members of Congress increased the pressure on Obama to install a permanent, independent IG at the State Department.

From The Washington Times:

Frustrated by the vacancy at a time when the department faces scandals such as the Benghazi attack, Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, [last week] vowed to place a hold on all State Department nominations until President Obama picked an inspector general. The oversight position was “crucial” and “should be a priority for an agency facing substantial management challenges,” Mr. Cruz said.

In a rare show of bipartisanship in February, Mr. Royce had been joined by New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations panel, in urging the post be filled.

Linick is the current IG of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, a position he has held since October 2010. Linick also previously served in the Department of Justice as the Executive Director of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force and the Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section.

This is the second IG nomination for Obama in as many weeks, following the June 21 recommendation for Jon Rymer to take over at the Pentagon’s IG office. The Project on Government Oversight applauds these efforts to install permanent, independent watchdogs in these key departments, but reiterates the need for qualified and independent IGs at all federal agencies. According to our database, there are still seven vacant IG positions, leaving a significant gap in the quest for accountability across the government. 

Read more at The Washington Times.

By: Jana Persky
Intern, POGO

Photograph of Jana Persky Jana Persky is an intern for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Government Accountability

Related Content: Inspector General Oversight, State Department, Watching the Watchdogs

Authors: Jana Persky

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