Senators urge State Department to turn over requested Iraq documents to special IG

Lawmakers have sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her to ensure that the State Department provides certain documents requested by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which claims the department has previously withheld.

In an audit released Oct. 24, SIGIR criticized State's lack of strategy and effort in training Iraqi police. The special IG also complained that the department did not cooperate with all document requests.

Although State agreed with most recommendations and said its own report would be released in November, the department defended its decision not to release the documents.

In a Sept. 21 hearing, Patrick Kennedy, State's undersecretary for management, argued the requested documents were outside SIGIR's jurisdiction, which State said includes only Iraq reconstruction funds. The department's own auditors already have requested the documents in question, Kennedy said.

The authors of the letter, Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Tom Coburn, R-Okla.[ and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who all are members of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said SIGIR's assertions were "deeply troubling."

SIGIR's jurisdiction also includes Iraq reconstruction funds, which State has spent on contracts to support other activities and has an obligation to comply with all "lawful and practicable" requests SIGIR makes, the senators said. State also does not have the authority to withhold documents, even when SIGIR has not coordinated audits with other IGs, according to the senators.

"We believe that this unwarranted obstruction of SIGIR will weaken an important oversight tool for the taxpayers and obstruct your own efforts at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the department," the senators wrote. "Therefore, we request that you direct your officers to comply with all lawful current and future requests from SIGIR for documents and information it may require."

The senators sent the letter Oct. 31, and the department has not yet offered a response.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.