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The VA’s Office of Inspector General Has No Clothes

Danielle Brian testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
Danielle Brian testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on inspectors general vacancies (June 3, 2015)

The Office of Inspector General at the Department of Veterans Affairs just doesn’t get it.

Rather than address its failings in conducting effective oversight, the IG’s office has, instead, doubled down by trying to dismiss the investigative work of Congress and the press and to disparage whistleblowers who have questioned the office’s independence.

The IG submitted a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) that criticizes Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Project On Government Oversight Executive Director Danielle Brian, who was one of three panelists at a recent hearing on inspectors general.

You can read our response to the VA Office of Inspector General’s misguided statement here.

“Ultimately, the statement demonstrates that OIG officials do not appreciate how their credibility and independence have been compromised by a vacancy at the top that has languished for more than 540 days,” we write in our response.

With this week’s announcement that Acting VA Inspecting General Richard Griffin is stepping down, it’s imperative that President Obama nominate someone who can take the reins of this troubled office and restore credibility to the VA Inspector General.

Brian testified at HSGAC’s June 3 hearing and specifically called out some of the problems—a lack of independence, lousy track record on transparency, poor leadership, and an absurd subpoena of POGO—at the VA’s Office of Inspector General.

Topics: Government Accountability

Related Content: Veterans Affairs, Inspector General Oversight

Authors: Iulia Gheorghiu

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