June 07,2007

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Grassley says report verifies that NASA Inspector General has failed in watchdog role

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley said today that a new report shows that the Inspector General for NASA has failed to demonstrate the independence and judgment required for an agency watchdog and, as a result, NASA is not receiving the scrutiny and review required for an agency with a $13 billion annual budget.
Grassley made his statements in testimony that he submitted to a Senate-House committee hearing to consider the investigation of the NASA Inspector General that was conducted by the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency. Grassley has conducted his own inquiry of some allegations regarding the NASA Inspector General.

Grassley has worked to enhance the role of Inspectors General over time and protect their independence in holding federal agencies accountable. “The Inspector General, in any agency, is the first and main line of defense against waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer money and misconduct by senior government officials, among others,” he said. “The IGs need to be the watchdogs, not lapdogs, in the government. It’s up to Congress to make sure the IGs are doing their jobs, that they have the resources to do their jobs, and that there’s no undue interference from the agency on the IG’s ability to accomplish their mission.”
The text of the testimony Grassley submitted today is attached in the Printer-Friendly Version.