Comments Concerning H.R. 3625, A Bill To Amend the Inspector General Act of 1978

Gao ID: 122734 October 26, 1983

Testimony was given concerning proposed legislation which would amend the Inspector General (IG) Act to include the Departments of Energy (DOE), Health and Human Services (HHS), Justice, and the Treasury. GAO supported passage of the act and other legislation designed to centralize and strengthen internal audit and investigative activities under IG's in major departments and agencies. Since GAO continues to support the IG concept, it supports the proposed legislation which would: (1) transfer the existing statutory IG's at HSS and DOE, currently under separate authorizing legislation, to the act; (2) establish new statutory IG offices in Justice and Treasury; and (3) give IG personnel the authority to administer or to take from any person an oath, affirmation, or affidavit whenever necessary in carrying out functions authorized by the act. GAO believes that all statutory IG's should operate under the same basic authorizing legislation with uniform principles and standards. Therefore, GAO would like to see the proposed legislation amended to include the Department of State because it believes that including the State IG office under the act would enhance IG independence and effectiveness. The Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act requires the heads of all Federal agencies to report annually on the adequacy of the internal accounting and administrative control systems in their agencies. A strong independent statutory IG is an important tool which management can use in carrying out its responsibilities under the act.

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