WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 5 2013 – Former Pentagon Inspector General (IG) Joseph E. Schmitz, author of the recently-published Inspector General Handbook: Fraud, Waste, Abuse and Other Constitutional “Enemies, Foreign and Domestic “ (Center for Security Policy Press, May 2013), writes a blistering critique in today’s Wall Street Journal of the Obama administration’s failure to appoint accountable IGs:
For years, President Obama has neglected his duty to fill vacant inspector-general posts at the departments of State, Interior, Labor, Homeland Security and Defense and at the Agency for International Development. The president has nominated only two candidates to fill any of these six vacancies, and he subsequently withdrew both nominations. All told, an IG has been missing in action at each of those cabinet departments and the AID agency for between 18 months and five years.
In contrast to the challenges plaguing those major federal agencies without a Senate-confirmed IG, Schmitz points out that the Senate-confirmed Treasury Department IG for Tax Administration recently exposed the issue of targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. On the other hand, the State Department, which lacks even an “acting IG,” is struggling with systemic breakdowns of integrity and accountability, as witnessed by the failure to protect our embassy in Benghazi. As Schmitz notes in the Journal:
The story at the State Department underscores the problem. For Hillary Clinton’s entire four-year tenure as secretary of State, she relied on a retired foreign service officer, former Ambassador Harold Geisel, to function as an inspector general—though he could never hold the title.
Amid the several emerging scandals in Washington, the Center’s publication of Schmitz’s new book is especially timely. The Inspector General Handbook provides an in-depth look at how the inspectors general of both military and civilian agencies help to establish a culture of both integrity and accountability, while providing safeguards against the abuse of power in government. The Handbook‘s perspective is drawn from Schmitz’ experiences as the former head of the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General—the most expansive IG organization in the world—from 2002-2005.
The Inspector General Handbook addresses the origins of the IG system in the US Military, and how it was subsequently applied to other branches with the intention of ensuring integrity and efficiency in government. In addition to public officials, students of government and members of the legal profession, this timely book should be of interest to any citizen interested in accountability and efficiency in those agencies that serve the public interest.
The Inspector General Handbook (Center for Security Policy Press, $27.95, 584 pages) is available through Amazon.com
“Obama’s Inspector General Negligence” appears on page A13 in the June 5, 2013 US edition of the Wall Street Journal.
Praise for the Inspector General Handbook
“Important reading for every Inspector General.”
DONALD RUMSFELD Secretary of Defense of the United States, 1975-1977 and 2001-2006
“This book is a ‘must read’ for all government leaders and for every lawyer who needs to know by what authority and for what purposes an Inspector General serves ‘We the People’ of these United States.”
JOHN ASHCROFT former U.S. Senator and Attorney General of the United States, 2001-2005
“Schmitz carefully examines the nature of the institution, and demystifies it while at the same time promoting respect for it. The Inspector General Handbook is a work of lasting value.”
MICHAEL B. MUKASEY Attorney General of the United States, 2007-2009, and U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, 1988- 2006
“Joe Schmitz’ Handbook delivers a previously missing link in the understanding of post-9/11 law enforcement professionals who take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
LOUIS J. FREEH Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1993-2001