A new report finds that Executive Branch departments and federal agencies have failed to implement 15,522 open office of investigator general (OIG) recommendations.
The report was commissioned by Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In February 2015, the Senators requested data from agency inspectors general for all outstanding IG recommendations that had not been implemented. The investigation was conducted over the span of more than a year. The report contains what they found.
These are some highlights:
- IGs reported over $87 billion in aggregate potential cost savings associated with open and unimplemented recommendations.
- Many of the open recommendations were made several years ago, and some agencies have failed to take action to implement them.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) OIG reported the most open and unimplemented recommendations, with a total of 2,106. These open recommendations date back more than fifteen years, and total nearly $5.4 billion in aggregate potential cost savings.
- In total, eight of the 72 IGs reported difficulty accessing documents from agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) OIG, for example, reported restricted access to agency records concerning internal investigations of employee misconduct.
This chart from the report shows which agencies had the most open and unimplemented OIG recommendations.
The Senators said that the lack of implementation of the various recommendations is evidence of waste that comes at a great cost to American taxpayers.
“Our investigation reveals more than $87 billion in taxpayer dollars squandered by agencies not implementing more than 15,000 recommendations made by these federal watchdogs,” said Johnson. “Our investigation highlights the numerous obstacles that many inspectors general have faced in trying to root out waste, fraud and abuse. I will continue to hold federal agencies accountable to implement common-sense recommendations to save taxpayer dollars, and will fight to pass our legislation that is critical to strengthening inspectors general.”
A copy of the Senators’ report is included below.