Civil Society Calls on Appropriators to Support Oversight.gov
The Honorable James Lankford
The Honorable Tom Graves
The Honorable Christopher Coons
The Honorable Mike Quigley
Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members:
We, the undersigned, are writing to urge support for congressional funding of Oversight.gov, the federal inspector general community’s new central website.
Last year, the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) established a central repository for all federal agency inspector general reports at Oversight.gov. The website represents a major step forward in improved accountability of the inspectors general and accessibility to their work product. Congress, the inspector general community, and the general public can now search in one place for many of the recent reports from 68 of the 73 federal inspectors general. Oversight.gov includes the ability to look across the government for reports on a particular topic.
Oversight.gov is an impressive proof of concept, and is already very useful. For example, it is helping inspectors general identify best practices from other agency inspectors general and implement them in-house. However, Congress should empower CIGIE to move the site from prototype to robust implementation, including making available the full array of reports, search capabilities, and features that congressional overseers would expect.
Congress should provide dedicated funding for Oversight.gov to continue operations, improve its functionality, and provide expanded services. The current website was established primarily through in-kind work by individual inspectors general. CIGIE does not receive a direct appropriation for any of its work through a dedicated line item. Rather, all financial resources for CIGIE operations are financed by its constituent inspector general entities through a revolving fund.
Dedicated funds would allow some important next steps for the website. Most of the recent inspector general reports are currently on the site and future reports will be added as they are completed by each inspector general, but reports from previous years should be made available as well. In addition, Oversight.gov could provide inspector general recommendations in a searchable format that clearly tracks the status of implementation by federal agencies. If resources are available, CIGIE could also consider the capacity to help direct whistleblowers to the appropriate inspector general.
Thank you for your consideration. If you or your staff would like to discuss the issue further, please contact Peter Tyler of the Project On Government Oversight at 202-347-1122 and [email protected], or Daniel Schuman of Demand Progress Action at 240-237-3930 and [email protected].
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Demand Progress Action
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
Federal Managers Association
Government Accountability Project
Government Information Watch
National Security Counselors
Open the Government
Professional Managers Association
Project On Government Oversight
R Street Institute
Senior Executives Association