President Carter has taken no action on an appointment that Jay Solomon, administrator of the General Services Administration, feels is essential to cleaning up corruption within GSA and his continuing effectiveness as head of the troubled agency.
Solomon asked Carter several weeks ago to appoint Irwin M. Borowski, a Securities and Exchange Commission official, as acting inspector general until a permanent appointment can be made later this year.
The appointment would provide Borowski, who has been on temporary assignment from the SEC as GSA's special counsel, with the power to subpoena records and books of contractors he has under investigation.
The deadline for appointing Borowski is Monday, when the new session of Congress begins. Once Congress is in session, an acting inspector general cannot be named, and appointment of a permanent inspector general cannot take place until confirmation hearings have been held.
Solomon has estimated this could delay GSA's internal investigation with the power to subpoena records at least five to six months.
"I supported very strongly the idea of an inspector general because I felt it was essential that we have someone here who was independent and had subpoena power," Solomon said yesterday when asked about the appointment. "We have a stack of cases that need investigation, and there are more coming in."
Solomon has confided to aides that he does not feel he can effectively perform his function as head of an agency found to be riddied with corruption unless he has a strong investigator with the power to subpoena records.
Asked for comment, Rex Granum, deputy White House press secretary, said, "We are still considering who should be named as inspector general. We're not in a position yet to name one."