Inspectors general are responsible for uncovering mismanagement and misconduct in our federal agencies and recommending solutions to correct those issues. They are crucial independent watchdogs who help prevent the waste of taxpayer dollars and serve as vital guardians of ethics and accountability within our government.
Unfortunately, Social Security Administration Inspector General Gail Ennis has failed to live up to that mission. Rather than protect whistleblowers in her office and investigate their allegations, Ennis allegedly retaliated against employees who blew the whistle. Two senior employees in the anti-fraud program of the IG’s office raised concerns that the program was levying excessive fines against people who improperly received Social Security benefits without consideration of their ability to pay the fines. Ennis could have reconsidered the fines, which were imposed on people with disabilities, people with low incomes, and elderly people. Instead, those whistleblowers were punished for speaking out: one was demoted and the other was fired.
We need inspectors general who will fearlessly pursue the truth about wrongdoing in the federal government and protect those who blow the whistle. When inspectors general undermine those duties and abuse their power, it is imperative that they be removed and replaced immediately.