The Washington Post

Where are all the watchdogs?

Kudos to the folks at the Project On Government Oversight for compiling a new online database that tracks how long vacant inspector general positions have been left open across the government.

President Obama still hasn’t nominated someone to succeed former Interior Department Inspector General Earl Devaney, who left in 2009 to lead oversight of the economic stimulus program. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

The longest watchdog vacancy is at the State Department, which has gone without an inspector general for more than 1,480 days. The Interior Department hasn’t had a permanent IG in 1,080 days, according to the tracker.

The shortest vacancy is at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where H. David Kotz announced less than two weeks ago that he was stepping down to join the private sector.

President Obama has nominated three individuals to fill the 10 presidentially appointed vacancies: He nominated Roslyn A. Mazer more than 200 days ago to serve as inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, while Michael Horowitz’s nomination to serve as Justice Department inspector general has languished for 194 days, according to the database. It’s been 85 days since Obama nominated Deborah J. Jeffrey to serve as watchdog at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

“It is inexcusable that we have so many Inspector General vacancies,” POGO investigator Jake Wiens said Wednesday. “This new resource is intended to push government officials to fill these positions with qualified leaders.”

POGO’s “Where are all the Watchdogs?” tracker is using a list of vacancies maintained by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency and matching it with data kept by the Government Accountability Office and a list of presidential nominations kept by the White House.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Further reading:

SEC Inspector General David Kotz’s departure adds to watchdog vacancies

Triple victory for Santorum again upends GOP presidential race

For more, visit PostPolitics and The Fed Page.

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


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