February 21,2020

Chairmen Press Investigation into Allegations of Underperforming Commerce Department Inspector General Office

Washington The chairmen of three Senate committees are continuing their investigation into whistleblower allegations of low morale and low productivity at the Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General (OIG). Following a staff interview with Inspector General Peggy Gustafson, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) are conducting interviews with senior OIG staff.

“We’ve now had dozens of whistleblowers come forward with similar complaints about the inspector general’s office. The complaints cover a wide range of serious allegations, from absenteeism, waste, and mismanagement to paltry job satisfaction numbers, to an apparent lack of oversight leading up to the decennial census. Asking for staff interviews like this is out of the ordinary, but so is this level of reported dysfunction within an inspector general’s office. My staff has been working hard for several months to discover the root cause,” Grassley said.

Republican and Democratic staff from the Senate Finance; Senate Commerce; and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees interviewed Inspector General Gustafson on January 9.

Committee staff began private interviews with OIG senior staff on February 11.

The staff interviews and briefing request follow letters from August and December probing the allegations of low morale and low productivity at the Commerce Department OIG.

Text of the letter requesting interviews with senior OIG staff can be found HERE.