Obama fires Bush-appointed IG overseeing AmeriCorps

President Obama has notified Congress that he will dismiss the inspector general charged with overseeing the Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the AmeriCorps program.

"It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general," Obama wrote in letters delivered to lawmakers Thursday. "That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general."

But Obama's decision to terminate Inspector General Gerald Walpin earned the ire of a top Republican advocate for federal inspectors general, who called the dismissal of the AmeriCorps watchdog a blow to the independence of the nation's IGs.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote the White House back, pointing out that Walpin has not come under criticism by the Integrity Committee of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, which oversees the conduct of federal IGs.

"[Walpin] has identified millions of dollars in AmeriCorps funds either wasted outright or spent in violation of established guidelines," Grassley wrote. "In other words, it appears he has been doing his job."

A White House spokesman declined to explain the dismissal. "For obvious reasons, we won't get into details of a personnel decision like this, but I can tell you that the president lost confidence in Mr. Walpin's performance," he said. "The president will appoint a replacement in whom he has full confidence as the corporation carries out its important mission."

An acting IG was named Thursday, according to the agency Web site.

The Inspector General Reform Act enacted last year dictates that the president must notify Congress of his intention to dismiss an IG 30 days before the termination takes effect.

Grassley questioned whether Obama complied with the law, citing news reports indicating that Walpin may have received a White House ultimatum Wednesday night directing him to resign within an hour.

The White House disputed those reports, saying Walpin was not fired, but has been suspended with pay.

Walpin, appointed by former President George W. Bush and sworn into office in January 2007, recently penned a report questioning the costs of an AmeriCorps program operated by the Research Foundation for the City University of New York.

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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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