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Obama Nominates a Pentagon Inspector General

Current FDIC watchdog Jon Rymer would fill slot vacant for 18 months.

President Obama has named an experienced auditor to fill the vacant Pentagon inspector general’s position with his choice of Jon Rymer, currently the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's IG.

Rymer, who has been at the FDIC for seven years, previously served as interim IG for the Securities and Exchange Commission. His background includes private-sector experience as director of the accounting firm KPMG LLP and a stint as executive vice president of Boatman’s Bank of Arkansas. Rymer is a 33-year veteran of the active and reserve components of the Army, according to the White House, and heads the audit committee of the Council of Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency.

His nomination -- announced Friday -- was welcomed by Lynne Halbrooks, the current deputy inspector general who has been leading the office under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. His “background will be a strong foundation if Mr. Rymer is confirmed by the Senate,” she said in a statement, adding that she looks forward to “this next, exciting phase of our OIG history.”

The Defense Department’s IG office has been vacant since Dec. 24, 2011. The nonprofit watchdog Project on Government Oversight, which maintains an updated database of vacancies and pushes the Obama administration to fill them quickly, lists the Pentagon IG’s office as one of the top major IG vacancies.

Others, in order of longest time without a permanent director, include the State Department (since Jan. 16, 2008); the Interior Department (since Feb. 23, 2009); the Labor Department (since July 13, 2009); the National Endowment for the Humanities (since Jan. 28, 2011); the Homeland Security Department (since Feb. 27, 2011); and the U.S. Agency for International Development (since Oct. 15, 2011).