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                                            Calendar No. 68                                         

114th Congress        }                    {       Report   
                             SENATE                          
 1st Session          }                    {      114-36
____________________________________________________________

 
                     INSPECTOR GENERAL EMPOWERMENT

                              ACT OF 2015

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 S. 579

               TO AMEND THE INSPECTOR GENERAL ACT OF 1978
               
TO STRENGTHEN THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE INSPECTORS GENERAL, AND FOR OTHER 
                               PURPOSES.

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                May 5, 2015.--Ordered to be printed
                  
                                 _____
                                     
                   U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

49-010 PDF                   WASHINGTON : 2015 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------                
                  
                  
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  JON TESTER, Montana
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
JONI ERNST, Iowa                     GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
BEN SASSE, Nebraska

                    Keith B. Ashdown, Staff Director
                  Christopher R. Hixon, Chief Counsel
       Patrick J. Bailey, Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs
Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Deputy Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs
              Gabrielle A. Batkin, Minority Staff Director
           John P. Kilvington, Minority Deputy Staff Director
               Mary Beth Schultz, Minority Chief Counsel
     Troy H. Cribb, Minority Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                                CONTENTS

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................1
III. Legislative History.............................................12
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis.....................................13
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact.................................17
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate.......................17
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported...........19


                                              Calendar No. 68
114th Congress         }                    {     Report      
                               SENATE
                                                    
 1st Session           }                    {     114-36
===============================================================
 
               INSPECTOR GENERAL EMPOWERMENT ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

                  May 5, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 579]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 579) to amend the 
Inspector General Act of 1978 to strengthen the independence of 
the Inspectors General, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute and recommends that the 
bill, as amended, do pass.

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of S. 579, the Inspector General Empowerment 
Act of 2015, is to strengthen the independence of inspectors 
general (IGs) and to provide them with the tools necessary to 
root out waste, fraud and mismanagement within the federal 
government. The bill would authorize IGs to write testimonial 
subpoenas for federal government contractors, federal grant 
recipients, and former federal employees, and perform computer 
matching of agency data and seek Paperwork Reduction Act 
approval without first going through the agency. The bill would 
also improve the way misconduct by Office of Inspector General 
(OIG) officials is investigated, and would promote more 
transparency to the public and cooperation between the offices 
and Congress.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    The bipartisan Inspector General Act of 1978 (the IG Act) 
created OIGs within federal agencies and entities.\1\ The IG 
Act representated a significant reorganization of the way 
federal agencies handled audit and investigative work to ensure 
these responsibilities were prioritized,\2\ passed in response 
to ``clear . . . fraud, abuse and waste in the operations of 
Federal departments and agencies and in federally-funded 
programs [that is] reaching epdemic proportions.''\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 1, et seq., (Public Law 95-452).
    \2\S. Rept. 85-1071, Report of the Committee on Governmental 
Affairs United States Senate to Accompany H.R. 8588, 7 (Aug. 8, 1878) 
(``Passage of this legislation will upgrade the auditing and 
investigative functions in the executive agencies by making it clear 
that Congress takes the problem and responsibilities seriously.'').
    \3\Id. at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Initially there were just twelve offices established, and 
the number has since grown to seventy-two.\4\ The IG Act and 
subsequent legislation created two types of inspectors general 
(IGs): establishment IGs and designated Federal entity (DFE) 
IGs.\5\ Establishment IGs are appointed by the President and 
confirmed by the Senate.\6\ DFE IGs are appointed by the head 
of the agency or entity.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, 
The Inspectors General (July 14, 2014), available at https://
www.ignet.gov/sites/default/files/files/IG_Authorities_Paper_-_Final_6-
11-14.pdf.
    \5\5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 3(a) and 8G(c).
    \6\Id. at Sec. 3(a).
    \7\Id. at Sec. 8G(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The IG Act established OIGs to be:

        independent and objective units--(I) to conduct and 
        supervise audits and investigations relating to the 
        programs and operations of [government] establishments 
        . . . (2) to provide leadership and coordination and 
        recommend policies for activities designed (A) to 
        promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the 
        administration of, and (B) to prevent and detect fraud 
        and abuse in, such programs and operations; and (3) to 
        provide a means for keeping the head of the 
        establishment and the Congress fully and currently 
        informed about problems and deficiencies relating to 
        the administration of such programs and operations and 
        the necessity for and progress of corrective action . . 
        . .\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 2; see also S. Rept. 85-1071 at 7, supra note 
2 (``Above all, the Inspector and Auditors General created in this 
legislation would have the requisite independence to do an effective 
job. . . . [T]he audit and investigative functions should be assigned 
to an individual whose independence is clear and whose responsibility 
runs directly to the agency head and ultimately to the Congress.'').

    IGs are statutorily guaranteed ``direct and prompt access'' 
to the agency head,\9\ access to all records available to their 
agency,\10\ and are directed to keep both Congress and the 
agency ``fully and currently informed.''\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 6(a)(6).
    \10\Id. at Sec. 6(a)(1).
    \11\Id. at Sec. 4(a)(5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The value IGs add to the federal government cannot be 
overstated. An IG works as the agency's watchdog. The amount 
IGs can save the taxpayer in identifying and recovering 
improper payments, ferreting out abusive or wasteful practices, 
and identifying troubled programs is well-documented.\12\ 
Michael E. Horowitz, Chair of the Council of the Inspectors 
General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) and IG of the 
Department of Justice, has summed up OIGs' contribution as 
follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\See, e.g., U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs Committee, Improving the Efficiency, Effectiveness, and 
Independence of Inspectors General (Feb. 24, 2015), available at http:/
/www.hsgac.senate.gov/hearings/improving-the-efficiency-effectiveness-
and-independence-of-inspectors-general (Steve A. Linick written 
testimony: In FY 2014, State OIG ``identified $43.3 million in taxpayer 
funds that could be put to better use,'' imposed or identified ``$75 
million in fines, restitution, recoveries and other monetary results'' 
in addition to ``$1 billion in financial results from audit- or 
inspection-related findings.''; Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr. biography: In 
FY 2014, at SSA: ``OIG's investigators reported over $552 million in 
investigative accomplishments through SSA recoveries, restitution, 
fines, settlements, judgments, and projected savings. In addition, the 
OIG's auditors issued eighty-four reports with recommendations 
identifying more than $5 billion in Federal funds that could be put to 
better use, and over $1 billion in questioned costs. And the OIG's 
attorneys reported over $21 million in civil monetary penalties and 
assessments.'').

          [I]n Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, the approximately 14,000 
        employees at the 72 federal Offices of Inspector 
        General conducted audits, inspections, evaluations, and 
        investigations resulting in the identification of 
        approximately $37 billion in potential cost savings and 
        approximately $14.8 billion from investigative 
        recoveries and receivables. In comparison, the 
        aggregate FY 2013 budget of the 72 federal OIGs was 
        approximately $2.5 billion, meaning that these 
        potential savings represent about a $21 return on every 
        dollar invested in the IGs.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Statement of Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, U.S. 
Department of Justice, supra note 12.

    Despite the clear existing statutory guarantees of IG 
independence and complete access to documents needed to conduct 
their audits, investigations, and other reviews, some 
challenges persist that threaten IG independence and prevent 
IGs from fully and effectively carrying out their missions. On 
February 24, 2015, the Committee held a hearing titled, 
Improving the Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Independence of 
Inspectors General. The Committee heard testimony from four 
IGs: Department of Justice IG Michael E. Horowitz; Department 
of State IG Steve A. Linick; Department of Homeland Security IG 
John Roth; and Social Security Administration IG Patrick P. 
O'Carroll, Jr.\14\ Each IG testified regarding the challenges 
they face and the need for reform.\15\ Those challenges and 
others are addressed by this bill, and discussed in more detail 
below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs 
Committee, Improving the Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Independence of 
Inspectors General, supra note 12.
    \15\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          A. OIG INDEPENDENCE

    The OIG must be independent from the agency it is mandated 
to oversee. There are at least three ways that this principle 
is threatened: the ability for the President and/or an agency 
head to sideline an IG indefinitely and without notice to 
Congress; instances of agencies delaying or obstructing 
investigations; and IG vacancies.

1. The Administration's ability to sideline IGs

    The power of the President or DFE to remove an IG threatens 
the IG's independence at a very basic level. The IG Act 
attempted to temper this power by adding procedural safeguards 
meant to protect IGs from being removed for political or other 
nefarious reasons.\16\ For establishment IGs, while the 
President can remove the IG from office or transfer him or her 
to another position within the agency, the President must 
communicate the reasons for the action in writing to Congress 
at least 30 days before the removal or transfer.\17\ Similarly, 
in the case of DFE IGs, while the DFE can remove or transfer 
the IG, it must provide notice and reasons for the actions in 
writing to Congress.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\See S. Rep. No. 110-262 (2008) (notice provision added to 
``allow for an appropriate dialogue with Congress in the event that the 
planned transfer or removal is viewed as an inappropriate or 
politically motivated attempt to terminate an effective Inspector 
General'').
    \17\5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 3(b).
    \18\Id. at Sec. 8G(e)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Another type of personnel action has the potential for 
doing significant damage to OIG independence if abused: placing 
an IG on indefinite paid or unpaid nonduty status (or 
administrative leave, as it is sometimes referred to). This 
type of action was not specifically addressed in the IG Act, 
nor is it well-defined by other federal law.\19\ The use of 
involuntary administrative leave as a substitute for removing a 
federal employee can be problematic. When it involves an IG or 
a senior IG official, however, the problem is all the more 
troublesome: by indefinitely displacing an IG or a senior IG 
official, the agency can undermine or intimidate the only 
office expressly designed to oversee it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\Federal law does not explicictly authorize paid administrative 
leave, Miller v. Dep't of Defense, 45 M.S.P.R. 263, 266 (1990), but the 
agency can use it within its discretion and for short periods of time, 
id.; see also To the Chairman, U.S. Civil Service Commission, 38 Comp. 
Gen. 203 (1958).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In one recent example, the National Archives and Records 
Administration placed its IG, Paul Brachfeld, on paid 
administrative leave in 2012 in response to allegations of 
wrongdoing against him.\20\ The leave lasted for two years, 
creating lengthy uncertainty within the OIG and coming at a 
high cost to taxpayers: the agency paid $300,000 for the IG's 
salary while he remained unable to work and another several 
hundred thousand dollars on legal fees.\21\ The Committee 
believes the delay was exacerbated by inadequate coordination 
among investigative bodies and slow work by CIGIE's Integrity 
Committee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\Report of Administrative Investigation for the Council of the 
Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (Mar. 28, 2014), 
available at http://www.govexec.com/media/gbc/docs/pdfs_edit/
080514cc1.pdf.
    \21\Id.; Letter from Charles E. Grassley, Darrell Issa, and Tom A. 
Coburn to The Honorable David S. Ferriero, Feb. 21, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To address this problem, the bill limits the instances in 
which an IG can be placed on paid or unpaid nonduty status, and 
provides that CIGIE--the body to which any complaints against 
the IG will be referred--review the placement and determine 
whether it is justified in lasting more than ten days. The bill 
also includes clearer timelines for CIGIE to complete 
investigations and procedures to improve coordination between 
the Office of Special Counsel and CIGIE's Integrity Committee, 
discussed below. These measures are intended to reduce 
indefinite leave, to provide more stability for the OIGs, and 
to reduce the incidence, or even the appearance, of 
administrative leave being used to control an OIG's work. It 
does not, however, limit or alter the President's or an 
agency's ability to remove an IG from office.

2. Agency interference with investigations

    The IG Act makes IG independence from the agency or DFE 
paramount, and it is clear both in language and intent that IGs 
should have unfettered access to the agency's documents for 
purposes of carrying out their responsibilities under the Act. 
IGs are authorized to access:

          [A]ll records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, 
        papers, recommendations or other material available to 
        the applicable establishment which relates to programs 
        and operations with respect to which that Inspector 
        General has responsibilities under this Act.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 6(a)(1).

    The Committee is aware that many IGs have at times 
experienced difficulties accessing documents from their 
respective agencies. In August 2014, forty-seven IGs signed a 
letter to Congress highlighting the importance of timely and 
complete access to agency records and detailing several 
instances of agency interference.\23\ The letter cited specific 
examples of restrictions on access to records faced by the IGs. 
One such example was the difficulty Peace Corps Inspector 
General Kathy Buller encountered trying to access records 
related to her review of the Peace Corps' implementation of the 
Katy Puzey Act.\24\ According to the letter from the forty-
seven IGs:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\Letter from Michael G. Carroll, et al. to The Honorable Darrell 
Issa, The Honorable Elijah Cummings, The Honorable Thomas R. Carper, 
and The Honorable Tom Coburn, Aug. 5, 2014, available at http://
www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/issues/upload/
IG%20Access%20Letter%20to%20Congress%2008-05-2014.pdf.
    \24\Id.; see also U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform, Strengthening Agency Oversight: 
Empowering the Inspectors General Community (Jan. 15, 2014), available 
at http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/strengthening-agency-oversight-
empowering-inspectors-general-community/.

          Other Inspectors General have, from time to time, 
        faced similar obstacles to their work, whether on a 
        claim that some other law or principle trumped the 
        clear mandate of the IG Act or by the agency's 
        imposition of unnecessarily burdensome administrative 
        conditions on access. Even when we are ultimately able 
        to resolve these issues with senior agency leadership, 
        the process is often lengthy, delays our work, and 
        diverts time and attention from substantive oversight 
        activities. This plainly is not what Congress intended 
        when it passed the IG Act.\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\Letter from Michael G. Carroll, supra note 23.

    Another example recently brought to the Congress's 
attention is the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) delay 
in producing records requested by IG Horowitz in four separate 
reviews in 2015 alone--records substantially similar to those 
that the FBI provided to the OIG on a routine basis prior to 
2010.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \26\Letter from Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Chairman, Sen. Comm. on 
the Judiciary, to the Hon. James B. Comey, Director, Federal Bureau of 
Investigation (March 6, 2015); U.S. House of Representatives, Committee 
on the Judiciary, Access to Justice?: Does DOJ's Office of the 
Inspector General Have Access to Information Needed to Condcut Proper 
Oversight? (Sep. 9, 2014), Attachment 2, at 2-3, available at http://
judiciary.house.gov/_cache/files/d2537da6-7f7f-4a32-b843-0366e2ee0403/
ig-horowitz-testimony-w-attachments-hjc-september-9-2014.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Agency attempts to interfere with OIG investigations have 
come in many forms, including delaying turning over the 
documents for exorbitant amounts of time,\27\ and over-
classifying information or documents to avoid certain findings 
in the investigation becoming public.\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\Testimony of the Honorable Todd J. Zinser, Inspector General, 
U.S. Department of Commerce, Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee 
on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, United States 
Senate, The Department of Commerce's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request, 
26 (Feb. 26, 2015) (discussing IG access to Census Bureau documents); 
Statement of Michael E. Horowtiz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of 
Justice, supra note 12 (FBI ``failed to provide the OIG with timely 
acess to certain records regarding two whistleblower retaliation 
investigations.'').
    \28\Testimony of the Honorable Todd J. Zinser, Inspector General, 
U.S. Department of Commerce, Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee 
on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, United States 
Senate, The Department of Commerce's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request, 
27 (Feb. 26, 2015) (describing the IG's views that NOAA over-classified 
certain documents); Statement of John Roth, Inspector General, 
Department of Homeland Security, supra note 12 (describing the IG's 
views that the Transportation Security Administration unnecessarily 
delayed removing a classified designation from a report that contained 
no sensitive information).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Attempts by agencies to block or delay IG access to 
documents necessary for their statutorily mandated oversight is 
unacceptable. The Committee agrees with the IGs that 
``[r]efusing, restricting, or delaying an Inspector General's 
access to documents leads to incomplete, inaccurate, or 
significantly delayed findings or recommendations, which in 
turn may prevent the agency from promptly correcting serious 
problems and deprive Congress of timely information regarding 
the agency's performance.''\29\ There does not appear to be any 
additional language the Committee could supply to the IG Act to 
make this clearer. Accordingly, the Committee reaffirms its 
belief that IGs must be given prompt, unfettered access to 
agency documents for purposes of carrying out their 
responsibilities under the Act, and reaffirms its intent to 
ensure agencies follow the law.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\Letter from Michael G. Carroll, supra note 23.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Furthermore, the Committee has been made aware of language 
in Section 3(a) of the IG Act that, from time to time, is used 
to suggest that the agency head has some ability to dictate, 
influence, or control the work of OIGs.\30\ Courts have 
disagreed with this interpretation,\31\ but nonetheless, the 
existence of the language continues to be used by some 
agencies, at least informally, to justify interfering with the 
IG's work. Nothing in Section 3(a) should be construed to 
suggest that agency heads exercise any influence, control, or 
supervision of the IGs. To make this clear, the bill strikes 
the ``supervision'' language from Section 3(a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\See 5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 3(a) (``Under the general supervision 
of'' and ``subject to supervision by'').
    \31\See, e.g., United States Nuclear Regulatory Comm'n v. Fed. 
Labor Relations Auth., 25 F.3d 229, 235 (4th Cir. 1994).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Addressing prolonged IG vacancies

    IG vacancies are a significant concern to the Committee. As 
of the submission date of this report, there are seven 
vacancies of Presidentially-appointed IGs and two vacancies of 
agency-appointed IGs, with only two nominations pending.\32\ 
Some of the vacancies have existed for extremely long periods 
of time, despite Congress' pleas for the President to nominate 
someone.\33\ For example, the U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs OIG, which has faced many challenges in effectively 
carrying out its missions, has worked without a permanent IG 
since December, 2013.\34\ The Department of the Interior has 
not had a permanent IG since February, 2009.\35\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \32\Information provided to Committee staff by CIGIE, Apr. 8, 2015.
    \33\Letter from Ron Johnson, Thomas R. Carper, and all other 
Members of the Committee to President Barack H. Obama (Mar. 24, 2015); 
Letter from Ron Johnson to President Barack H. Obama (Jan. 22, 2015); 
Letter from Thomas R. Carper and Tom Coburn to President Barack Obama 
(June 19, 2014); Letter from Thomas R. Carper, Ranking Member Tom 
Coburn, and all other Members of the Committee to President Barack 
Obama (Jan. 24, 2013).
    \34\Information provided to Committee staff by CIGIE, Apr. 8, 2015.
    \35\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee believes the absence of permanent, Senate-
confirmed or agency-appointed IGs impedes the ability of these 
offices to identify and expose waste, fraud, and abuse in the 
federal government. In addition, acting IGs in these roles 
create the potential for conflicts of interest, diminish 
independent IG oversight, and cause instability for IG 
offices.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\Letter from Ron Johnson, et al. to President Barack Obama (Mar. 
24, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This type of threat to IG independence was all too apparent 
in the case of former Acting Inspector General of the 
Department of Homeland Security, Charles Edwards. Mr. Edwards 
was the Acting IG from 2011 through 2013.\37\ In 2014, the 
Committee's Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight 
found that Mr. Edwards ``jeopardized the independence of the 
Office of Inspector General.\38\ The report noted that ``Mr. 
Edwards openly sought a nomination for the Inspector General 
position'' and that he ``directed reports to be altered or 
delayed to accommodate senior DHS officials.''\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\On July 21, 2011, the President nominated an IG for DHS but the 
nomination was withdrawn on June 7, 2012. Congressional Record, p. 
S4812, July 21, 2011 and Congressional Record, p. S3874, June 7, 2012.
    \38\Investigation into Allegations of Misconduct by the Former 
Acting and Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Homeland 
Security, Staff Report of the Subcommittee on Finnacial and Contracting 
Oversight, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, 3 
(Apr. 24, 2014).
    \39\Id. at 3-4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Members' letters urging the President and his agency heads 
to nominate IGs have gone unanswered and an unacceptable number 
of IG positions remain vacant. Accordingly, this bill requires 
the Comptroller General to study the number and duration of IG 
vacancies, examine how these vacancies impact the OIG's ability 
to carry out their statutorily-required mission, and recommend 
ways to minimize the duration of vacancies.

                   B. OTHER IMPEDIMENTS TO OIGS' WORK

    Although IGs have the authority to investigate fraud, 
waste, and abuse, they are sometimes prevented from fully and 
effectively doing so.

1. Compelling testimony

    One such impediment is OIGs' limited ability to compel 
private citizens to speak to them during the course of an 
investigation. Current federal employees are required to comply 
with OIG investigations;\40\ private citizens can be compelled 
to provide documents\41\ and can voluntarily speak with an OIG 
(even under oath, if they so choose).\42\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \40\See generally 5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 6(a). Agencies typically issue 
directives to their employees or have regulations on this issue. See, 
e.g., Department of Justice regulation 28 CFR 45.13 (``Department 
employees have a duty to, and shall, cooperate fully with the Office of 
the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility, and 
shall respond to questions posed during the course of an investigation 
. . . . Refusal to cooperate could lead to disciplinary action.'').
    \41\5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 6(a)(4).
    \42\Id. at Sec. 6(a)(5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The practical constraints this causes are clear: the OIG 
may be hamstrung when investigating matters involving non-
Federal employees. Individuals such as federal contractors or 
grant recipients may nonetheless benefit from the agency or 
receive federal funds, but are not under the same obligations 
to comply with the investigations as federal employees are. Nor 
are federal employees who leave federal employment or resign in 
the face of an allegation or investigation.
    In his written submission to the Committee on February 24, 
2015, Department of State IG Linick noted the vast amount of 
money that the Department obligates every year on contracts and 
grants (a total of $10.5 billion) that his office needs to 
inspect to ensure proper management.\43\ In the course of these 
inspections and investigations, individuals may need to be 
interviewed who are not currently federal employees. IG Linick, 
the other three IGs that testified, and CIGIE support giving 
IGs limited authority to compel witness testimony through the 
testimonial subpoena.\44\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \43\Statement of Steve A. Linick, Inspector General, Department of 
State, supra note 12.
    \44\U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, Improving the Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Independence of 
Inspectors General, supra note 12; see also Letter from Peggy E. 
Gustafson to The Honorable Beth Cobert (Feb. 20, 2015), available at 
https://www.ignet.gov/sites/default/files/files/committees/legislative/
CIGIE%20Legislation%20Priorities%20-%20114th%20Congress%20Letter.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The bill provides this authority, limited by appropriate 
oversight and procedure, and mindful of the concern that such 
subpoenas not interfere with an ongoing matter being conducted 
by the Department of Justice. The bill accomplishes this by 
setting up a three-IG panel chosen by CIGIE to review a request 
by an IG to issue a testimonial subpoena. If a majority of the 
panel approves the subpoena, the request is then sent to the 
Attorney General of the Department of Justice for review. The 
Attorney General has ten days to object to issuance of the 
testimonial subpoena if he determines it would interfere with 
an ongoing matter. If CIGIE approves the issuance, and the 
Attorney General does not object, the testimonial subpoena may 
be issued and enforced in any appropriate United States 
District Court. The bill also requires CIGIE to report to 
Congress on the number of IG testimonial subpoenas issued each 
year.

2. Federal laws that hamstring OIGs

    OIGs are also sometimes deterred from certain 
investigations and audits that could detect and prevent waste, 
fraud, and abuse due to laws and government regulations that 
have made it more difficult and time-consuming for OIGs to 
access information, and which could also interfere with OIG 
independence. The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act 
(CMPPA) (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(a)) and Paperwork Reduction Act 
(PRA) (44 Sec. U.S.C. 35) are two examples of laws that hamper 
OIGs and infringe upon their independence. The CMPPA prevents 
IGs from performing computer matching to compare Federal 
records of one federal agency against other Federal and non-
Federal records without first getting approval from the IG's 
agency. This not only hampers IGs' ability to investigate fraud 
and perform audits, but also interferes with IGs' independence 
since the agency can disapprove or restrict any request for 
computer matching.\45\ Similarly, the Paperwork Reduction Act 
prevents IGs from collecting information for an investigation 
or audit without an often lengthy and burdensome approval 
process through the IG's agency.\46\ The IG community has been 
requesting these exemptions for many years, including a recent 
request by the legislative committee of CIGIE.\47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \45\Statement of Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr., Insepctor General, 
Social Security Administration, supra note 12.
    \46\Id.
    \47\Letter from Peggy E. Gustafson to the Honorable Beth Cobert, 2-
4 (Feb. 20, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Patrick O'Carroll, Jr., the IG for the Social Security 
Administration (SSA), gave several examples of how the CMPPA 
hampers IGs at a Committee hearing on February 24, 2015.\48\ 
For example, in 2010, SSA OIG matched Department of Labor data 
against SSA data to identify Federal employees whose disability 
insurance payments were calculated without regard to the fact 
that they were at the same time receiving Federal Employees' 
Compensation Act payments.\49\ The IG found 961 such 
individuals, totaling overpayments of $43 million in just one 
year.\50\ However, the SSA IG could not give this data to SSA 
to recover or terminate benefits because the SSA IG did not 
have a matching agreement, which would have taken over a year 
to get from the agency.\51\ IG O'Carroll also spoke of similar 
difficulties the PRA poses.\52\ To remove such obstacles, this 
bill provides OIGs an exemption to the PRA, as well as an 
exemption to the CMPPA for both the OIG and any agency with 
whom the OIG is coordinating the match.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\Statement of Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr., Insepctor General, 
Social Security Administration, supra note 12.
    \49\Id.
    \50\Id.
    \51\Id.
    \52\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          C. OVERSIGHT OF OIGS

1. Congress

    IGs are statutorily required:

        to keep . . . the Congress fully and currently 
        informed, by means of the reports required by section 5 
        and otherwise, concerning fraud and other serious 
        problems, abuses, and deficiencies relating to the 
        administration of programs and operations administered 
        or financed by such establishment, to recommend 
        corrective action concerning such problems, abuses, and 
        deficiencies, and to report on the progress made in 
        implementing such corrective action.\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \53\5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 4(a)(5).

    Section 5 of the IG Act details the information that each 
IG must supply on a semi-annual basis to Congress, the agency 
head, and that should be made available to the public.\54\ This 
Section generally includes summaries of the OIG's reports for 
the previous six months, including recommendations made to the 
agency and any matters referred to prosecutive authorities.\55\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \54\Id. at Sec. 5. As the committees with oversight responsibility 
of IGs, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the 
Senate and the Oversight and Governent Reform Committee in the House 
receive these semi-annual reports from most OIGs.
    \55\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to the reporting requirements of Section 5, the 
OIGs have for the last several years provided supplemental 
semi-annual reports to some Members of Congress on the Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate 
Committee on the Judiciary. These reports are not statutorily 
required; they have been supplied pursuant to a 2010 request by 
then-Ranking Members Tom Coburn and Charles E. Grassley.\56\ On 
February 27, 2015, Chairman Ron Johnson and Chairman Charles E. 
Grassley renewed the requests.\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\Letter from Charles E. Grassley and Tom Coburn to The Honorable 
Hubert T. Bell, et al. (Apr. 8, 2010).
    \57\Letter from Ron Johnson and Charles E. Grassley to The 
Honorable Hubert T. Bell, et al. (Feb. 27, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Specifically, the requested reports provide information 
concerning: ``all closed investigations, evaluations, and 
audits conducted by the IG offices that were not disclosed to 
the public;'' unimplemented IG recommendations; reports not 
responded to by the agency within 60 days; investigations 
involving high-level employees engaged in misconduct but not 
prosecuted; instances of agency whistleblower retaliation; 
attempts by the agency to interfere with IG independence or 
delay or resist access to documents; and reports not disclosed 
to the public.\58\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    These semi-annual reports have been a significant source of 
information to the Members, and help the committees ensure they 
are supporting the IGs and performing effective oversight of 
the executive branch. Because they are not statutorily 
required, however, they have not necessarily been provided to 
all appropriate Members and committees. The Committee believes 
that the request for these letters should be codified as a 
requirement to keep Congress better informed as well as to 
support the community of IGs and empower their work. The bill, 
therefore, would require the information requested to be 
supplied to the appropriate committees of jurisdiction in the 
Senate and House of Representatives, including Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs in the Senate and Oversight 
and Government Reform in the House, in coordination with the 
semi-annual reports already required under the IG Act. 
Additionally, the semi-annual reports required by this bill 
would be made available to any Member of Congress upon request.

2. The Public

    Section 8M of the IG Act mandates that IGs post audits or 
reports on their websites ``not later than 3 days after any 
report or audit (or portion of any report or audit) is made 
publicly available.''\59\ Despite this clear requirement, some 
IGs argue that publication is required only after the report 
has been made public through a FOIA request or other similar 
means. In other words, some IGs act as though the default 
position is one against publication, and publish on their 
website only after the report has been made public through some 
other means.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \59\5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 8M(b)(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For example, prior to introduction of this bill, the OIG 
for the Department of Veterans Affairs had 140 reports since 
2006 that had not been made available to the public.\60\ 
Although the OIG defended its decision to withhold the findings 
of those reports, it recently published seventeen of the 
reports in the face of congressional pressure.\61\ Six of those 
previously-undisclosed reports ``contain[ed] substantiated 
allegations, including two involving veterans who were harmed 
or died.''\62\ The OIG also conceded it has no standard for 
deciding when to release reports to the public.\63\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \60\Donovan Slack, VA watchdog stands by decision not to release 
report, USA TODAY (Mar. 19, 2015), available at http://
www.usatoday.com/story/life/2015/03/19/va-watchdog-stands-by-decision-
not-to-release-report/25048581/. Official source?
    \61\Id.
    \62\Id.
    \63\Donovan Slack, Congress grills VA watchdog on secret reports, 
USA Today (Mar. 16, 2015), available at http://www.usatoday.com/story/
news/2015/03/16/transparency-of-va-inspector-generals-office-
questioned/24859475/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The bill would clarify that the three-day clock to release 
IG reports to the public begins the moment the report or audit 
is submitted in final form to the head of the Federal agency or 
the head of the designated Federal entity, as applicable. Not 
only would this ensure a uniform practice across agencies and 
leave significantly less room for interpretation, but it would 
protect an OIG from any potential pressure by an agency to 
withhold publication of a report.\64\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \64\Testimony of the Honorable Todd J. Zinser, Inspector General, 
U.S. Department of Commerce, Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee 
on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, United States 
Senate, The Department of Commerce's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request, 
27 (Feb. 26, 2015) (detailing a senior Commerce official's threat to 
sue the IG for publicly releasing an investigative report).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Privacy Act, FOIA, and other laws may prohibit an IG 
from publicly releasing a report or portions of the report, and 
nothing in this bill would override those laws. However, it is 
the express intent of this Committee that laws such as the 
Privacy Act and FOIA, when applied to the publication of IG 
reports, be construed in favor of public transparency. It 
should be the default position of each OIG under the IG Act to 
publicly release all reports unless otherwise prevented from 
doing so by law.

3. CIGIE

    In addition to Congressional oversight and public 
accountability, OIGs are monitored by an independent council. 
In 2008, the CIGIE was statutorily established to address IG 
issues that span several agencies and work to increase the 
professionalism of IGs, including a body to consider 
allegations of misconduct against IGs or other top OIG 
officials.\65\ The Chair of CIGIE, currently Department of 
Justice IG Michael Horowitz, is selected to serve a two-year 
term.\66\ CIGIE serves an important role in setting IG quality 
standards and overseeing IG professionalism.\67\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \65\The Inspector General Reform Act of 2008, P.L. 110-409, 5 
U.S.C. App. Sec. 11.
    \66\Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, 
Mission, available at https://www.ignet.gov/content/mission-0, last 
visited Feb. 19, 2015.
    \67\5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 11(c)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under the IG Act, CIGIE's Integrity Committee (IC), has the 
responsibility to investigate allegations of misconduct by IGs 
or OIG officials.\68\ The IC is made up of the Director of the 
Office of Government Ethics, the Special Counsel of the Office 
of Special Counsel, four IGs chosen by the Chairperson of 
CIGIE, and chaired by an official of the FBI.\69\ Under current 
rules and procedures, the IC conducts a threshold review of 
allegations it receives and only goes on to conduct a full 
investigation of those allegations deemed sufficiently serious 
and credible to warrant it. The IC also has overlapping 
jurisdiction with the Office of Special Counsel and sometimes 
defers to the Office of Special Counsel to investigate first or 
exclusively, but there are not clear guidelines for that 
coordination. Although the IC has received an average of 28 
allegations each year since Fiscal Year 2011, it has disposed 
of most without a full investigation, having carried out an 
average of six full investigations each year.\70\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \68\Id. at Sec. 11(d)(4), (5).
    \69\Id. at Sec. 11(d)(2).
    \70\Letter from Timothy J. Delaney, Chairperson, CIGIE Integrity 
Committee, to Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary 
(Dec. 15, 2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Where the IC does conduct its own, full investigation, it 
does so without any specific deadlines. Committee Members and 
others have expressed concern about the length of some IC 
investigations.\71\ Another frequent complaint is that the 
chairmanship of the IC is a largely administrative role that 
has not been embraced by FBI and is better served by another 
party.\72\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \71\Id.
    \72\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The bill strengthens the IC investigation process without 
being overly prescriptive. Among other changes, the bill alters 
the IC's makeup to ensure a panel of committed, experienced 
members, and puts time limits on each significant step in the 
investigation to ensure the IC is moving efficiently toward 
completing the investigation and keeping Congress apprised of 
delays as well as informed of the results.
    The bill also expands CIGIE's role as an oversight body by 
authorizing it to receive, review, and mediate any disputes 
submitted in writing to it by an OIG regarding an audit, 
investigation, inspection, evaluation, or project that involves 
the jurisdiction of more than one OIG and to keep the records 
of the IC. Finally, the bill authorizes funding for CIGIE to 
help ensure it has sufficient funds to comply with its new and 
continuing authorities.

D. Conclusion

    This bill seeks to address the aforementioned threats to 
IGs' independence and ability to effectively perform their 
mission to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal 
government. With these tools, the Committee believes IGs can be 
even more effective in providing valuable insight and 
recommendations to agencies and to Congress.

                        III. Legislative History

    Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced S. 579 on 
February 26, 2015 with Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and 
Ron Johnson (R-Wi.). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Senators Tammy 
Baldwin (D-Wi.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) joined as cosponsors on 
March 4 and March 20, 2015, respectively.
    The Committee considered S. 579 at a business meeting on 
March 4, 2015. During the business meeting, five amendments 
were offered. Senator Johnson, on behalf of himself and Senator 
McCaskill, offered a substitute amendment that made technical 
corrections to the bill and, at the request of the Intelligence 
Community IG, provided a separate panel to review Intelligence 
Community IG requests for testimonial subpoenas. The substitute 
amendment was adopted by voice vote with Senators Johnson, 
Portman, Lankford, Ayotte, Carper, Baldwin, Heitkamp and Peters 
present.
    Senator Johnson, for himself and Senator Baldwin, offered 
an amendment to clarify that publication of IG reports must 
occur within three days of it being submitted in final form to 
the head of the agency or entity. The amendment was adopted by 
voice vote with Senators Johnson, Portman, Lankford, Ayotte, 
Carper, Baldwin, Heitkamp, and Peters present.
    Senator Johnson, on behalf of himself and Senator 
McCaskill, introduced an amendment to modify the authorized 
appropriations for CIGIE. The amendment was adopted by voice 
vote with Senators Johnson, Portman, Lankford, Ayotte, Carper, 
Baldwin, Heitkamp, and Peters present.
    Senator Lankford introduced an amendment on behalf of 
Senator Sasse to expand the classes of individuals who can be 
the subject of an IG testimonial subpoena to ensure that 
individuals who benefit from contracting or grants with the 
federal government must comply with IG investigations. The 
amendment was adopted by voice vote with Senators Johnson, 
Portman, Lankford, Ayotte, Carper, Baldwin, Heitkamp, and 
Peters present.
    Senator Baldwin, on behalf of herself and Senator Johnson, 
introduced an amendment to require that all IG work products 
making recommendations to the agency or entity are provided to 
the agency or entity head, the appropriate congressional 
committees, and posted on the OIG's website. The amendment was 
adopted by voice vote with Senators Johnson, Portman, Lankford, 
Ayotte, Carper, McCaskill, Baldwin, Heitkamp, and Peters 
present.
    The Committee ordered the bill, as amended, reported 
favorably by voice vote on March 4, 2015. Senators present for 
the vote on the bill were Senators Johnson, Portman, Lankford, 
Ayotte, Carper, McCaskill, Baldwin, Heitkamp, and Peters.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill, as Reported


Section 1. Short title; table of contents

    This section provides the bill's short title, the 
``Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2015,'' and a table of 
contents.

Section 2. Nonduty status of Inspectors General; supervision

    This section amends the header of the Inspector General Act 
of 1978 Section 3 by striking the word ``supervision'' and 
adding the term ``administrative leave'' to clarify the purpose 
and effect of what follows.
    It also removes from Section 3 references to Inspectors 
General (IGs) being ``supervised'' by the agency. This change 
is meant to enhance the independence of IGs and make clear that 
nothing in Section 3(a) should be construed to suggest that 
agency heads exercise any influence, control, or supervision of 
the IGs.
    New paragraph (2) to Section 3(b) adds language about how 
and when the President can place an IG on paid or unpaid, 
nonduty status. If the President places an IG on paid or 
unpaid, nonduty status, he or she must notify Congress in 
writing within 48 hours of doing so and include the reasons for 
such action. Such action is limited to situations where the 
continued presence in the workplace of the IG may pose a threat 
to the employee or others; result in loss of or damage to 
property of the Federal Government; or otherwise jeopardize 
legitimate interests of the Federal Government. Moreover, the 
President may not place an IG on paid or unpaid, nonduty status 
for more than 10 days, unless he/she does so pursuant to a 
written recommendation for more time by the Integrity Committee 
of CIGIE and immediately notifies Congress of his/her action. 
This section is constructed to ensure that indefinite paid or 
unpaid administrative leave cannot be used to improperly impede 
the independence of an OIG and as a way to avoid the statutory 
removal process. The authorities in this new subsection are in 
addition to any other personnel action authorized by law.
    New paragraph (3) to section 8G(e) adds language about how 
and when the head of a DFE can place an IG on paid or unpaid, 
nonduty status. If the DFE head places an IG on paid or unpaid, 
nonduty status, he or she must notify Congress in writing 
within 48 hours of doing so and include the reasons for such 
action. Such action is limited to situations where the 
continued presence in the workplace of the IG may pose a threat 
to the employee or others; result in loss of or damage to 
property of the Federal Government; or otherwise jeopardize 
legitimate interests of the Federal Government. Moreover, the 
head of a designated Federal entity may not place an IG on paid 
or unpaid, nonduty status for more than 10 days, unless he/she 
does so pursuant to a written recommendation for more time by 
the Integrity Committee of the CIGIE and immediately notifies 
Congress of his/her action. This section is constructed to 
ensure that indefinite paid or unpaid administrative leave 
cannot be used to improperly impede the independence of an OIG 
and as a way to avoid the statutory removal process. The 
authorities in this new subsection are in addition to any other 
personnel action authorized by law.

Section 3. Additional authority provisions for Inspectors General

    Section 3(a) creates a new section of the Inspector General 
Act. This new Section 6A authorizes IGs to require by subpoena 
the attendance and testimony of certain witnesses, including a 
current or former contractor (or subcontractor) with the 
Federal Government, a current or former grantee (or subgrantee) 
of the federal government, a current or former employee of the 
aforementioned groups, and any former Federal employee that is 
necessary in the performance of the functions assigned by the 
Inspector General Act. The language identifying classes of 
individuals who may be subject to a testimonial subpoena is 
designed to encompass those individuals who are receiving--
either themselves or by virtue of their employment for a 
company that receives--a benefit from contracting or accepting 
a grant from the federal government.
    To issue the subpoena, the IG shall submit a request for 
approval of the subpoena to a review panel made up of 3 members 
of CIGIE (designated by the CIGIE Chair). In the case of a 
request by a member of the Intelligence Community, the panel 
will be made up of 3 members of the Intelligence Community IGs 
to address any security or other issues. The panel has ten days 
to review the request and deny, approve, or ask for more time. 
If the panel approves the subpoena, the IG then notifies the 
Attorney General of his or her intent to issue a subpoena. The 
Attorney General has ten days to approve or deny the request if 
it would interfere with an ongoing matter. If the request is 
approved or no response is given in ten days, the subpoena may 
be issued.
    This section mandates that CIGIE notify Congress in its 
annual report of the number of times such a subpoena has been 
issued.
    Section (b) exempts IGs from the Computer Matching and 
Privacy Protection Act (5 USC 552a(a)) and Paperwork Reduction 
Act (44 USC 35) restrictions, and ensures that the Computer 
Matching exemption does not impede the exemption the Health and 
Human Services IG already has.

Section 4. Additional responsibilities and resources of the Council of 
        the Inspectors General on integrity and efficiency

    This section offers numerous amendments to Section 11 of 
the Inspector General Act of 1978.
    It first clarifies the membership of CIGIE will include the 
IG of the Intelligence Community, rather than the IG of the 
Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and also 
requires that the annual report be sent to the appropriate 
committees of jurisdiction in Congress, in addition to the 
President.
    New subparagraph (c)(1)(H) directs CIGIE to receive, 
review, and mediate any disputes submitted in writing to it by 
an Office of Inspector General (OIG) regarding an audit, 
investigation, inspection, evaluation, or project that involves 
the jurisdiction of more than one OIG.
    This section also makes several amendments to CIGIE's 
Integrity Committee. Section 11(d) is amended by changing the 
membership of the Integrity Committee as follows: (1) the FBI 
will serve on the Council, but will no longer chair the 
committee; (2) the Special Counsel of the Office of Special 
Counsel will no longer be a member of the committee; and (3) 
the Director of the Office of Government Ethics can appoint a 
designee. The subparagraph is further amended by providing that 
the Integrity Committee will elect one of the IG members 
appointed by the Chairperson to sit on the Integrity Committee 
to serve as Chairperson of the Integrity Committee for a term 
of two years.
    The section amends Section 11(d)(5) to provide greater 
structure for the Integrity Community's review of allegations 
and to ensure investigation are timely and efficient. It first 
requires that, when a complaint of wrongdoing against an IG or 
other covered employee is received by the Integrity Committee, 
it is reviewed within 7 days by a subset of the Integrity 
Committee (a representative of the Department of Justice, a 
representative of the Office of Special Counsel, and a 
representative of the Integrity Committee) to determine which 
of the members the complaint will be referred to. If the 
complaint is referred to the Integrity Committee, the Integrity 
Committee has 15 days to review and determine whether the 
Chairperson of the IC will initiate an investigation. These 
deadlines are not intended to hamstring the Integrity 
Committee, but to ensure that investigations occur in a timely 
fashion.
    An amendment to Section 11(d)(6) makes it mandatory, rather 
than discretionary, for the agency or department to provide 
necessary resources to the Integrity Committee in the course of 
its investigation.
    Section 11(d)(7)(B) is amended by requiring that 
investigations referred to the Integrity Committee be conducted 
by OIGs of similar size to the one being investigated, unless 
it involves an OIG with less than 50 employees. It also 
mandates that the Integrity Committee rotate assignment of IGs 
to investigate allegations and create procedures to avoid 
conflicts of interests.
    Section 11(d)(7)(C) is replaced with language that requires 
the Chairperson to complete its investigation in 120 days. If 
it cannot be completed in 120 days, the Chairperson of the 
Integrity Committee must notify the committees of jurisdiction 
of the status of such investigation every 30 days until the 
investigation is complete.
    New Section 11(d)(7)(D) allows for concurrent 
investigations by the Integrity Committee and the Department of 
Justice or the Office of Special Counsel.
    New Section 11(d)(7)(E) requires the Integrity Committee, 
Department of Justice, and Office of Special Counsel to report 
to Congress and the CIGIE Chair on the results of any 
investigations under this section, and provides that any Member 
of Congress can have access to the results, rather than just a 
few committees.
    Section 11(d)(10) allows any Member of Congress, rather 
than just a few committees, to request and obtain from the 
Integrity Committee more detailed information about specific 
allegations.
    The bill adds a new Section 11(d)(12) that permits the 
Integrity Committee to receive, review, and refer allegations 
of wrongdoing against the Special Counsel (defined under 
section 1211(b) of title 5, United States Code) or Deputy 
Special Counsel and provides for recusal of the Special Counsel 
representative in certain situations. It also directs the 
Chairperson of the Council to maintain records for the 
Integrity Committee.
    New subparagraph 11(e) provides authorized appropriations 
for CIGIE from FY 2016-2021 to ensure CIGIE has sufficient 
funds to comply with its new and continuing authorities.

Section 5. Reports and additional information

    Section 5 requires supplemental reporting requirements 
related to the work of IGs. First, this section tasks the 
Government Accountability Office (GAO) with conducting a study 
on the vacancies in the OIGs that includes the number of 
prolonged vacancies; the extent to which the numbers have 
changed over time; an evaluation of the impact of such 
vacancies; and recommendations for minimizing vacancies. GAO 
shall report to the appropriate committees of jurisdiction on 
the study.
    Next, this section tasks CIGIE with analyzing critical 
issues involving the jurisdiction of more than one Federal 
agency and reporting on this analysis to the appropriate 
committees of jurisdiction.
    Further, this section tasks OIGs with reporting every 6 
months to the appropriate committees of jurisdiction (and 
available by request for any Member of Congress) as follows: 
(1) reports on the investigations conducted by their office 
involving employees at GS-15 rate of pay and above where 
misconduct was found but no prosecution resulted, including the 
agency's handling and whether it was referred to the Department 
of Justice; (2) reports that were authored by the OIG but not 
made available to the public; (3) instances of whistleblower 
retaliation at the agency; attempts by the agency to interfere 
with the OIG's independence; and any work the OIG performed and 
submitted for agency comment that was not returned to the OIG 
within 60 days. This new requirement codifies the provision of 
this information pursuant to requests that Senators Grassley, 
Coburn, and Johnson have made to IGs in 2014 and 2015. This 
information will help ensure Congress has the information it 
needs to perform its oversight duties of federal agencies.
    Finally, this section clarifies and standardizes the 
procedures of OIGs for sending reports to the head of the 
agency or entity, providing reports to Congress, and making 
them public on the OIG's website. For all work products by IGs 
that offer recommendations to the agency, the IG must provide 
the work product to the head of the agency or federal entity, 
the appropriate committees of congress, any individual or 
entity that requested the work product, and, upon request, any 
Member of Congress. All aforementioned work products, and more 
broadly, all IG reports, must be published on the OIG's website 
within three days of the report or work product being submitted 
in its final form to the head of the agency or entity. There is 
an exception for information that is specifically prohibited 
from public disclosure by any other provisions of law to ensure 
appropriate privacy protections.

Section 6. Technical and conforming amendments

    Section 6(a) repeals previous laws for technical purposes.
    Section 6(b) revises the Inspector General Act to 
distinguish between designated Federal agencies and 
nondesignated Federal agencies.
    Section 6(c) makes a number of grammatical and spelling 
corrections to the Inspector General Act of 1978.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                    March 17, 2015.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 579, the Inspector 
General Empowerment Act of 2015.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 579--Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2015

    Summary: S. 579 would amend the Inspector General Act of 
1978. Specifically, the legislation would authorize the 
appropriation of $51 million over the 2016-2021 period for the 
Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency 
(CIGIE). In addition, the bill would provide Inspectors General 
(IGs) with additional investigative authorities and require IGs 
and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to submit 
additional reports to the Congress.
    Based on information from selected IGs and assuming 
appropriation of the authorized and necessary amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 579 would cost $45 million over 
the 2016-2020 period. Enacting the bill would not affect direct 
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do 
not apply.
    S. 579 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of S. 579 is shown in the following table. The 
costs of this legislation fall within all budget functions that 
have funding for IGs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2016     2017     2018     2019     2020   2016-2020
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATIONa
 
Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and
 Efficiency:
    Authorization Level.................................        8        8        8        9        9        42
    Estimated Outlays...................................        6        8        8        9        9        40
Other Provisions:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        2        1        1        1        *         5
    Estimated Outlays...................................        2        1        1        1        *         5
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Authorization Level...................       10        9        9       10        9        47
        Estimated Authorization Level...................        8        9        9       10        9        45
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: * = less than $500,000.
aS. 579 also would authorize the appropriation of $9 million in 2021.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
579 will be enacted before the end of 2015, that the authorized 
and necessary amounts will be provided each year, and that 
spending will follow historical patterns for federal salaries 
and expenses.
    The Inspector General Act of 1978 created independent 
offices headed by inspectors general who are responsible for 
conducting and supervising audits and investigations; promoting 
economy, efficiency, and effectiveness; and preventing and 
detecting fraud and abuse in government programs and 
operations. IGs operate in more than 70 departments and larger 
federal agencies. The federal government spends about $3 
billion annually on IG activities.

Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency

    S. 579 would authorize the appropriation of $51 million 
over the 2016-2021 period for the CIGIE. The mission of the 
council is to investigate allegations of misconduct against IGs 
and to coordinate government activities to prevent fraud in 
federal operations and programs. The CIGIE receives no specific 
appropriation but is funded by transfers from the various IGs. 
In fiscal year 2014, the CIGIE spent about $6 million. Based on 
information from selected IGs and the CIGIE regarding their 
current operations, and assuming the appropriation of the 
specified amounts, CBO estimates that implementing this 
provision would cost $40 million over the 2016-2020 period and 
$11 million thereafter.

Other provisions

    S. 579 would require IGs to submit to the Congress 
additional reports on their activities. The bill also would 
provide additional investigative authorities to all IGs, and it 
would require GAO to submit a report to the Congress. Based on 
information from IG offices, CBO estimates that implementing 
those provisions would cost $5 million over the 2016-2020 
period.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 579 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Matthew Pickford; 
Impact on state, local, and tribal governments: Jon Sperl; 
Impact on the private-sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 579 as reported are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, and existing law in which no change is proposed is 
shown in roman):

                           TITLE 5--APPENDIX

                     INSPECTOR GENERAL ACT OF 1978

SEC. 3. APPOINTMENT OF INSPECTOR GENERAL; [SUPERVISION;] REMOVAL; 
                    ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE; POLITICAL ACTIVITIES; 
                    APPOINTMENT OF ASSISTANT INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR 
                    AUDITING AND ASSISTANT INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR 
                    INVESTIGATIONS

    (a) There shall be at the head of each Office an Inspector 
General who shall be appointed by the President, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Senate, without regard to 
political affiliation and solely on the basis of integrity and 
demonstrated ability in accounting, auditing, financial 
analysis, law, management analysis, public administration, or 
investigations. Each Inspector General shall report to [and be 
under the general supervision of] the head of the establishment 
involved or, to the extent such authority is delegated, the 
officer next in rank below such head, but shall not report to, 
[or be subject to supervision by,] any other officer of such 
establishment. Neither the head of the establishment nor the 
officer next in rank below such head shall prevent or prohibit 
the Inspector General from initiating, carrying out, or 
completing any audit or investigation, or from issuing any 
[subpoena] subpoena during the course of any audit or 
investigation.
    (b) [An Inspector General]
          (1) An Inspector General may be removed from office 
        by the President. If an Inspector General is removed 
        from office or is transferred to another position or 
        location within an establishment, the President shall 
        communicate in writing the reasons for any such removal 
        or transfer to both Houses of Congress, not later than 
        30 days before the removal or transfer. [Nothing in 
        this subsection shall prohibit a personnel action 
        otherwise authorized by law, other than transfer or 
        removal.]
          (2) An Inspector General may not be placed in a paid 
        or unpaid, nonduty status by the President--
                  (A) unless the President, not later than 48 
                hours after the President issues the directive 
                to place the Inspector General in such status, 
                communicates in writing to both Houses of 
                Congress the reasons for such action, which 
                shall be limited to evidence that the continued 
                presence in the workplace of the Inspector 
                General may--
                          (i) pose a threat to the employee or 
                        others;
                          (ii) result in loss of or damage to 
                        property of the Federal Government; or
                          (iii) otherwise jeopardize legitimate 
                        interests of the Federal Government; 
                        and
                  (B) for more than 10 days, unless the 
                Integrity Committee of the Council of the 
                Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency 
                submits to the President a written 
                recommendation for additional time, which is 
                acted upon by the President, and the decision 
                is communicated immediately to both Houses of 
                Congress.
          (3) Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a 
        personnel action otherwise authorized by law.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 4. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES; REPORT OF CRIMINAL VIOLATIONS TO 
                    ATTORNEY GENERAL

    (a) * * *
    (b)(1) * * *
    (2) For purposes of determining compliance with paragraph 
(1)(A) with respect to whether internal quality controls are in 
place and operating and whether established audit standards, 
policies, and procedures are being followed by Offices of 
Inspector General of establishments defined under section 
12(2), Offices of Inspector General of designated Federal 
entities defined under section [8F(a)(2)] 8G(a)(2), and any 
audit office established within a Federal entity defined under 
section [8F(a)(1)] 8G(a)(1), reviews shall be performed 
exclusively by an audit entity in the Federal Government, 
including the Government Accountability Office or the Office of 
Inspector General of each establishment defined under section 
12(2), or the Office of Inspector General of each designated 
Federal entity defined under section [8F(a)(2)] 8G(a)(2).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (e)
          (1) Whenever an Inspector General, in carrying out 
        the duties and responsibilities established under this 
        Act, issues a work product that makes a recommendation 
        or otherwise suggests corrective action, the Inspector 
        General shall--
                  (A) submit the work product to--
                          (i) the head of the establishment;
                          (ii) the Committee on Homeland 
                        Security and Governmental Affairs and 
                        the Committee on Appropriations of the 
                        Senate;
                          (iii) the Committee on Oversight and 
                        Government Reform and the Committee on 
                        Appropriations of the House of 
                        Representatives;
                          (iv) the congressional committees of 
                        jurisdiction;
                          (v) if the work product was initiated 
                        upon request by an individual or entity 
                        other than the Inspector General, that 
                        individual or entity; and
                          (vi) any Member of Congress upon 
                        request; and
                  (B) not later than 3 days after the work 
                product is submitted in final form to the head 
                of the establishment, post the work product on 
                the website of the Office of Inspector General.
          (2) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to 
        authorize the public disclosure of information that is 
        specifically prohibited from disclosure by any other 
        provision of law.

SEC. 5. SEMIANNUAL REPORTS; TRANSMITTAL TO CONGRESS; AVAILABILITY TO 
                    PUBLIC; IMMEDIATE REPORT ON SERIOUS OR FLAGRANT 
                    PROBLEMS; DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION; DEFINITIONS

    (a) * * *
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (13) the information described under section [05(b)] 
        804(b) of the Federal Financial Management Improvement 
        Act of 1996;
          (14) * * *
          (15) a list of any outstanding recommendations from 
        any peer review conducted by another Office of 
        Inspector General that have not been fully implemented, 
        including a statement describing the status of the 
        implementation and why implementation is not complete; 
        [and]
          (16) a list of any peer reviews conducted by the 
        Inspector General of another Office of the Inspector 
        General during the reporting period, including a list 
        of any outstanding recommendations made from any 
        previous peer review (including any peer review 
        conducted before the reporting period) that remain 
        outstanding or have not been fully implemented[.]; and
          (17) a description of the use of subpoenas for the 
        attendance and testimony of certain witnesses under 
        section 6A.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 6. AUTHORITY OF INSPECTOR GENERAL; INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE FROM 
                    FEDERAL AGENCIES; UNREASONABLE REFUSAL; OFFICE 
                    SPACE AND EQUIPMENT

    (a) * * *
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (4) to require by subpoena the production of all 
        information, documents, reports, answers, records, 
        accounts, papers, and other data in any medium 
        (including electronically stored [information, as well 
        as any tangible thing)] information), as well as any 
        tangible thing and documentary evidence necessary in 
        the performance of the functions assigned by this Act, 
        which subpoena, in the case of contumacy or refusal to 
        obey, shall be enforceable by order of any appropriate 
        United States district court: Provided, That procedures 
        other than [subpenas] subpoenas shall be used by the 
        Inspector General to obtain documents and information 
        from Federal agencies;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (g)
          (1) In this subsection, the terms `agency', `matching 
        program', `record', and `system of records' have the 
        meanings given those terms in section 552a(a) of title 
        5, United States Code.
          (2) For purposes of section 552a of title 5, United 
        States Code, or any other provision of law, a 
        computerized comparison of 2 or more automated Federal 
        systems of records, or a computerized comparison of a 
        Federal system of records with other records or non-
        Federal records, performed by an Inspector General or 
        by an agency in coordination with an Inspector General 
        in conducting an audit, investigation, inspection, 
        evaluation, or other review authorized under this Act 
        shall not be considered a matching program.
          (3) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to 
        impede the exercise by an Inspector General of any 
        matching program authority established under any other 
        provision of law.
    (h) Subchapter I of chapter 35 of title 44, United States 
Code, shall not apply to the collection of information during 
the conduct of an audit, investigation, inspection, evaluation, 
or other review conducted by the Council of the Inspectors 
General on Integrity and Efficiency or any Office of Inspector 
General, including any Office of Special Inspector General.

SEC. 6A. ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY.

    (a) Testimonial Subpoena Authority.--In addition to the 
authority otherwise provided by this Act and in accordance with 
the requirements of this section, each Inspector General, in 
carrying out the provisions of this Act, is authorized to 
require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of certain 
witnesses, including a current or former contractor with the 
Federal Government, a current or former subcontractor (at any 
tier) of a contractor with the Federal Government, a current or 
former grantee of the Federal Government, a current or former 
subgrantee of a grantee of the Federal Government, a current or 
former employee of such a contractor, subcontractor, grantee, 
or subgrantee, and any former Federal employee (but not 
including any Federal employee, who is otherwise obligated to 
provide testimony and cooperate with the Inspector General), 
necessary in the performance of the functions assigned by this 
Act, which subpoena, in the case of contumacy or refusal to 
obey, shall be enforceable by order of any appropriate United 
States district court.
    (b) Panel Review Before Issuance.--
          (1) Approval Required.--Before the issuance of a 
        subpoena described in subsection (a), an Inspector 
        General shall submit a request for approval to issue a 
        subpoena by a majority of a panel (in this section 
        referred to as the `Subpoena Panel'), which shall be 
        comprised of--
                  (A) 3 members of the Council of the 
                Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, 
                as designated by the Chairperson of the Council 
                of the Inspectors General on Integrity and 
                Efficiency; or
                  (B) in the case of a request by an Inspector 
                General from the Intelligence Community, the 3 
                members designated under subparagraph (A) shall 
                each by members of the Council of the 
                Inspectors General on Integrity and 
                Efficiency's Intelligence Community.
          (2) Time to respond.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), not later than 10 days after 
                the date on which a request for approval to 
                issue a subpoena is submitted under paragraph 
                (1), the Subpoena Panel shall approve or deny 
                the request.
                  (B) Additional information for panel.--If the 
                Subpoena Panel determines that additional 
                information is necessary to approve or deny a 
                request for approval to issue a subpoena under 
                subparagraph (A), the Subpoena Panel shall, not 
                later than 20 days after the date on which the 
                request is submitted--
                          (i) request the additional 
                        information; and
                          (ii) approve or deny the request.
          (3) Denial by panel.--If a majority of the members of 
        the Subpoena Panel votes to deny a request for approval 
        to issue a subpoena under subparagraph (B)(ii), the 
        subpoena may not be issued.
    (c) Notice to Attorney General.--
          (1) In general.--If the Subpoena Panel approves a 
        request for approval to issue a subpoena under 
        subsection (b)(2), the Inspector General shall notify 
        the Attorney General that the Inspector General intends 
        to issue the subpoena.
          (2) Decision of attorney general.--Not later than 10 
        days after the date on which the Attorney General is 
        notified under paragraph (1), the Attorney General 
        may--
                  (A) object to the issuance of the subpoena if 
                the subpoena will interfere with an ongoing 
                matter; or
                  (B) approve the issuance of the subpoena.
          (3) Issuance of subpoena approved.--If the Attorney 
        General approves the issuance of the subpoena or does 
        not object to the issuance of the subpoena during the 
        10-day period described in paragraph (2), the Inspector 
        General may issue the subpoena.
    (d) Inclusion in Annual Report.--Not later than 1 year 
after the date of enactment of this section, and every year 
thereafter, each Inspector General shall submit to the 
Chairperson of the Council of the Inspectors General on 
Integrity and Efficiency the number of times the Inspector 
General issued a subpoena under this section, which shall be 
included by the Chairperson in the annual report required under 
section 11(b)(3)(B)(viii).
    (e) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to affect the exercise by an Inspector General of any 
testimonial subpoena authority established under any other 
provision of law.

SEC. 8D. SPECIAL PROVISIONS CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY

    (a)
          (1) Notwithstanding the last two sentences of section 
        3(a), the Inspector General of the Department of the 
        Treasury shall be under the authority, direction, and 
        control of the Secretary of the Treasury with respect 
        to audits or investigations, or the issuance of 
        [subpenas] subpoenas, which require access to sensitive 
        information concerning--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (2) With respect to the information described under 
        paragraph (1), the Secretary of the Treasury may 
        prohibit the Inspector General of the Department of the 
        Treasury from carrying out or completing any audit or 
        investigation, or from issuing any [subpena] subpoena, 
        after such Inspector General has decided to initiate, 
        carry out, or complete such audit or investigation or 
        to issue such [subpena] subpoena, if the Secretary 
        determines that such prohibition is necessary to 
        prevent the disclosure of any information described 
        under paragraph (1) or to prevent significant 
        impairment to the national interests of the United 
        States.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 8E. SPECIAL PROVISIONS CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

    (a)
          (1) Notwithstanding the last two sentences of section 
        3(a), the Inspector General shall be under the 
        authority, direction, and control of the Attorney 
        General with respect to audits or investigations, or 
        the issuance of [subpenas] subpoenas, which require 
        access to sensitive information concerning--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (2) With respect to the information described under 
        paragraph (1), the Attorney General may prohibit the 
        Inspector General from carrying out or completing any 
        audit or investigation, or from issuing any [subpena] 
        subpoena, after such Inspector General has decided to 
        initiate, carry out, or complete such audit or 
        investigation or to issue such [subpoena] subpoena, if 
        the Attorney General determines that such prohibition 
        is necessary to prevent the disclosure of any 
        information described under paragraph (1) or to prevent 
        the significant impairment to the national interests of 
        the United States.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 8G. REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL ENTITIES AND DESIGNATED FEDERAL 
                    ENTITIES

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (d)
          (1) Each Inspector General shall report to and be 
        under the general supervision of the head of the 
        designated Federal entity, but shall not report to, or 
        be subject to supervision by, any other officer or 
        employee of such designated Federal entity. Except as 
        provided in paragraph (2), the head of the designated 
        Federal entity shall not prevent or prohibit the 
        Inspector General from initiating, carrying out, or 
        completing any audit or investigation, or from issuing 
        any [subpoena] subpoena during the course of any audit 
        or investigation.
          (2) * * *
    (e)
          (1) * * *
          (2) If an Inspector General is removed from office or 
        is transferred to another position or location within a 
        designated Federal entity, the head of the designated 
        Federal entity shall communicate in writing the reasons 
        for any such removal or transfer to both Houses of 
        Congress, not later than 30 days before the removal or 
        transfer. [Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a 
        personnel action otherwise authorized by law, other 
        than transfer or removal.]
          (3) An Inspector General may not be placed in a paid 
        or unpaid, nonduty status by the head of a designated 
        Federal entity--
                  (A) unless the head of the designated Federal 
                entity, not later than 48 hours after the head 
                of the designated Federal entity issues the 
                directive to place the Inspector General in 
                such status, communicates in writing to both 
                Houses of Congress the reasons for such action, 
                which shall be limited to evidence that the 
                continued presence in the workplace of the 
                Inspector General may--
                          (i) pose a threat to the employee or 
                        others;
                          (ii) result in loss of or damage to 
                        property of the Federal Government; or
                          (iii) otherwise jeopardize legitimate 
                        interests of the Federal Government; 
                        and
                  (B) for more than 10 days, unless the 
                Integrity Committee of the Council of the 
                Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency 
                submits to the head of the designated Federal 
                entity a written recommendation for additional 
                time, which is acted upon by the head of the 
                designated Federal entity, and the decision is 
                communicated immediately to both Houses of 
                Congress.
          (4) Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a 
        personnel action otherwise authorized by law.
    (f) * * *
    (g)
          (1) Sections 4, 5, 6 (other than subsections (a)(7) 
        and (a)(8) thereof), 6A, and 7 of this Act shall apply 
        to each Inspector General and Office of Inspector 
        General of a designated Federal entity and such 
        sections shall be applied to each designated Federal 
        entity and head of the designated Federal entity (as 
        defined under subsection (a)) by substituting--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) Notwithstanding the last sentence of subsection 
        (d) of this section, the provisions of subsection (a) 
        of section [8C] 8D (other than the provisions of 
        subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (E) of subsection 
        (a)(1)) shall apply to the Inspector General of the 
        Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and 
        the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and the 
        Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal 
        Reserve System in the same manner as such provisions 
        apply to the Inspector General of the Department of the 
        Treasury and the Secretary of the Treasury, 
        respectively.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 8M. INFORMATION ON WEBSITES OF OFFICES OF INSPECTORS GENERAL

    (a) Direct Links to Inspectors General Offices.--
          (1) In general.--[Each agency] Each Federal agency 
        and designated Federal entity shall establish and 
        maintain on the homepage of the website of [that 
        agency] that Federal agency or designated Federal 
        entity, a direct link to the website of the Office of 
        the Inspector General of [that agency] that Federal 
        agency or designated Federal entity.
    (b) Requirements for Inspectors General Websites.--
          (1) Posting of reports and audits.--The Inspector 
        General of each [agency] Federal agency and designated 
        Federal entity shall--
                  (A) not later than 3 days after any report or 
                audit (or portion of any report or audit) [is 
                made publicly available] is submitted in final 
                form to the head of the Federal agency or the 
                head of the designated Federal entity, as 
                applicable, post that report or audit (or 
                portion of that report or audit) on the website 
                of the Office of Inspector General; and
                  (B) * * *
          (2) Reporting of fraud, waste, and abuse.--
                  (A) In general.--The Inspector General of 
                each [agency] Federal agency and designated 
                Federal entity shall establish and maintain a 
                direct link on the homepage of the website of 
                the Office of the Inspector General for 
                individuals to report fraud, waste, and abuse. 
                Individuals reporting fraud, waste, or abuse 
                using the direct link established under this 
                paragraph shall not be required to provide 
                personally identifying information relating to 
                that individual.
                  (B) Anonymity.--The Inspector General of each 
                [agency] Federal agency and designated Federal 
                entity shall not disclose the identity of any 
                individual making a report under this paragraph 
                without the consent of the individual unless 
                the Inspector General determines that such a 
                disclosure is unavoidable during the course of 
                the investigation.
          (3) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this subsection 
        shall be construed to authorize the public disclosure 
        of information that is prohibited from disclosure by 
        any other provision of law.
    (c) Definitions.--In this section, the terms `designated 
Federal entity' and `head of the designated Federal entity' 
have the meanings given those terms in section 8G(a).

SEC. 11. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COUNCIL OF THE INSPECTORS GENERAL ON 
                    INTEGRITY AND EFFICIENCY

    (a) * * *
    (b) Membership.--
          (1) * * *
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) The Inspectors General of the Office of 
                the [Director of National Intelligence] 
                Intelligence Community and the Central 
                Intelligence Agency.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) Functions of chairperson and executive 
        chairperson.--
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) Chairperson.--The Chairperson shall--
                          (i) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                          (viii) [prepare and transmit a report 
                        annually on behalf of the Council to 
                        the President on the activities of the 
                        Council.] prepare and transmit an 
                        annual report on behalf of the Council 
                        on the activities of the Council to--
                                  (I) the President;
                                  (II) the appropriate 
                                committees of jurisdiction of 
                                the Senate and the House of 
                                Representatives;
                                  (III) the Committee on 
                                Homeland Security and 
                                Governmental Affairs of the 
                                Senate; and
                                  (IV) the Committee on 
                                Oversight and Government Reform 
                                of the House of 
                                Representatives.
    (c) Functions and Duties of Council.--
          (1) In general.--* * *
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (G) make such reports to Congress as the 
                Chairperson determines are necessary or 
                appropriate; [and]
                  (H) receive, review, and mediate any disputes 
                submitted in writing to the Council by an 
                Office of Inspector General regarding an audit, 
                investigation, inspection, evaluation, or 
                project that involves the jurisdiction of more 
                than 1 Office of Inspector General; and
                  [(H)] (I) perform other duties within the 
                authority and jurisdiction of the Council, as 
                appropriate.
          (2) * * *
          (3) Additional administrative authorities.--
                  (A) * * *
                          (i) * * *
                          (ii) upon the authorization of the 
                        Executive Chairperson, any [department, 
                        agency, or entity of the executive 
                        branch] Federal agency or designated 
                        Federal entity (as defined in section 
                        8G(a)) which has a member on the 
                        Council shall fund or participate in 
                        the funding of such activities.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (d) Integrity Committee.--
          (1) * * *
          (2) Membership.--[The Integrity Committee shall 
        consist of the following members:]
                  (A) In general.--The Integrity Committee 
                shall consist of the following members:
                  [(A)] (i) The official of the Federal Bureau 
                of Investigation serving on the Council[, who 
                shall serve as Chairperson of the Integrity 
                Committee, and maintain the records of the 
                Committee].
                  [(B)] (ii) Four Inspectors General described 
                in subparagraph (A) or (B) of subsection (b)(1) 
                appointed by the Chairperson of the Council, 
                representing both establishments and designated 
                Federal entities (as that term is defined in 
                section 8G(a)).
                  [(C) The Special Counsel of the Office of 
                Special Counsel.]
                  [(D)] (iii) The Director of the Office of 
                Government Ethics or the designee of the 
                Director.
                  (B) Chairperson.--
                          (i) In general.--The Integrity 
                        Committee shall elect 1 of the 
                        Inspectors General referred to in 
                        subparagraph (A)(ii) to act as 
                        Chairperson of the Integrity Committee.
                          (ii) Term.--The term of office of the 
                        Chairperson of the Integrity Committee 
                        shall be 2 years.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (5) Review of allegations.--[The Integrity Committee 
        shall--]
                  (A) [review all allegations of wrongdoing the 
                Integrity Committee receives against an 
                Inspector General, or against a staff member of 
                an Office of Inspector General described under 
                paragraph (4)(C)] In general.--Not later than 7 
                calendar days after the date on which the 
                Integrity Committee receives an allegation of 
                wrongdoing against an Inspector General or 
                against a staff member of an Office of 
                Inspector General described under paragraph 
                (4)(C), the allegation of wrongdoing shall be 
                reviewed and referred to the Department of 
                Justice or the Office of Special Counsel for 
                investigation, or to the Integrity Committee 
                for review, as appropriate by,--
                          (i) a representative of the 
                        Department of Justice, as designated by 
                        the Attorney General;
                          (ii) a representative of the Office 
                        of Special Counsel, as designated by 
                        the Special Counsel;
                          (iii) a representative of the 
                        Integrity Committee, as designated by 
                        the Chairperson of the Integrity 
                        Committee.
                  (B) [refer any allegation of wrongdoing to 
                the agency of the executive branch with 
                appropriate jurisdiction over the matter; and] 
                Referral to the chairperson.--Not later than 15 
                calendar days after the date on which an 
                allegation of wrongdoing is referred to the 
                Integrity Committee under subparagraph (A), the 
                Integrity Committee shall determine whether to 
                refer the allegation of wrongdoing to the 
                Chairperson of the Integrity Committee to 
                initiate an investigation.
                  [(C) refer to the Chairperson of the 
                Integrity Committee any allegation of 
                wrongdoing determined by the Integrity 
                Committee under subparagraph (A) to be 
                potentially meritorious that cannot be referred 
                to an agency under subparagraph (B).]
          (6) Authority to investigate allegations.--
                  (A) Requirement.--The Chairperson of the 
                Integrity Committee shall cause a thorough and 
                timely investigation of each allegation 
                referred under [paragraph (5)(C)] paragraph 
                5(B) to be conducted in accordance with this 
                paragraph.
                  (B) Resources.--At the request of the 
                Chairperson of the Integrity Committee, the 
                head of each agency or entity represented on 
                the Council--
                          (i) [may] shall provide resources 
                        necessary to the Integrity Committee; 
                        and
                          (ii) * * *
          (7) Procedures for investigations.--
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) Additional policies and procedures.--
                          (i) Establishment.--* * *
                                  (I) * * *
                                  (II) * * *
                                  (III) reporting the results 
                                of an investigation; [and]
                                  (IV) providing the person who 
                                is the subject of an 
                                investigation with an 
                                opportunity to respond to any 
                                Integrity Committee report[.];
                                  (V) except as provided in 
                                clause (ii), ensuring, to the 
                                extent possible, that 
                                investigations are conducted by 
                                Offices of Inspector General of 
                                similar size;
                                  (VI) creating a process for 
                                rotation of Inspectors General 
                                assigned to investigate 
                                allegations through the 
                                Integrity Committee; and
                                  (VII) creating procedures to 
                                avoid conflicts of interest for 
                                Integrity Committee 
                                investigations.
                          (ii) Exception.--The requirement 
                        under clause (i)(V) shall not apply to 
                        any Office of Inspector General with 
                        less than 50 employees who are 
                        authorized to conduct audits or 
                        investigations.
                          [(ii)] (iii) Submission to 
                        congress.--The Council shall submit a 
                        copy of the policies and procedures 
                        established under clause (i) to the 
                        congressional committees of 
                        jurisdiction.
                  [(C) Reports.--
                          [(i) Potentially meritorious 
                        allegations.--For allegations described 
                        under paragraph (5)(C), the Chairperson 
                        of the Integrity Committee shall make a 
                        report containing the results of the 
                        investigation of the Chairperson and 
                        shall provide such report to members of 
                        the Integrity Committee.
                          [(ii) Allegations of wrongdoing.--For 
                        allegations referred to an agency under 
                        paragraph (5)(B), the head of that 
                        agency shall make a report containing 
                        the results of the investigation and 
                        shall provide such report to members of 
                        the Integrity Committee.]
                  (C) Completion of investigation.-- If an 
                allegation of wrongdoing is referred to the 
                Chairperson of the Integrity Committee under 
                paragraph (5)(B), the Chairperson of the 
                Integrity Committee--
                          (i) shall complete the investigation 
                        not later than 120 calendar days after 
                        the date on which the Integrity 
                        Committee made the referral;
                          (ii) if the investigation cannot be 
                        completed within the 120-day period 
                        described in clause (i), shall--
                                  (I) promptly notify the 
                                congressional committees 
                                described in paragraph 
                                (8)(A)(iii); and
                                  (II) brief the congressional 
                                committees described in 
                                paragraph (8)(A)(iii) every 30 
                                days until the investigation is 
                                complete.
                  (D) Concurrent investigation.--If an 
                allegation of wrongdoing against an Inspector 
                General or a staff member of an Office of 
                Inspector General described under paragraph 
                (4)(C) is referred to the Department of Justice 
                or the Office of Special Counsel under 
                paragraph (5)(A), the Chairperson of the 
                Integrity Committee may conduct any related 
                investigation referred to the Chairperson under 
                paragraph (5)(B) concurrently with the 
                Department of Justice or the Office of Special 
                Counsel, as applicable.
                  (E) Reports.--
                          (i) Integrity committee 
                        investigations.--For each investigation 
                        of an allegation of wrongdoing referred 
                        to the Chairperson of the Integrity 
                        Committee under paragraph (5)(B), the 
                        Chairperson of the Integrity Committee 
                        shall submit to members of the 
                        Integrity Committee and to the 
                        Chairperson of the Council a report 
                        containing the results of the 
                        investigation.
                          (ii) Other investigations.--For each 
                        allegation of wrongdoing referred to 
                        the Department of Justice or the Office 
                        of Special Counsel under paragraph 
                        (5)(A), the Attorney General or the 
                        Special Counsel, as appropriate, shall 
                        submit to the Integrity Committee a 
                        report containing the results of the 
                        investigation.
                          (iii) Availability to congress.--Any 
                        Member of Congress shall have access to 
                        any report authored by the Integrity 
                        Committee.
          (8) Assessment and final disposition.--
                  (A) In general.--* * *
                          (i) * * *
                          (ii) * * *
                          [(iii) submit to the Committee on 
                        Government Oversight and Reform of the 
                        House of Representatives, the Committee 
                        on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                        Affairs of the Senate, and other 
                        congressional committees of 
                        jurisdiction an executive summary of 
                        such report and recommendations within 
                        30 days after the submission of such 
                        report to the Executive Chairperson 
                        under clause (ii).]
                          (iii) submit the report, with the 
                        recommendations of the Integrity 
                        Committee, to the Committee on Homeland 
                        Security and Governmental Affairs of 
                        the Senate, the Committee on Oversight 
                        and Government Reform of the House of 
                        Representatives, and other 
                        congressional committees of 
                        jurisdiction; and
                          (iv) following the submission of the 
                        report under clause (iii) and upon 
                        request by any Member of Congress, 
                        submit the report, with the 
                        recommendations of the Integrity 
                        Committee, to that Member.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (9) Annual report.--* * *
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) The number of allegations referred to 
                [other agencies] the Department of Justice or 
                the Office of Special Counsel, including the 
                number of allegations referred for criminal 
                investigation.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (10) Requests for more information.--With respect to 
        paragraphs (8) and (9), the Council shall provide more 
        detailed information about specific allegations upon 
        request from [any of the following:
                  [(A) The chairperson or ranking member of the 
                Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                Affairs of the Senate.
                  [(B) The chairperson or ranking member of the 
                Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of 
                the House of Representatives.
                  [(C) The chairperson or ranking member of the 
                congressional committees of jurisdiction.] any 
                Member of Congress.
          (11) No right or benefit.--* * *
          (12) Allegations of wrongdoing against special 
        counsel or deputy special counsel.--
                  (A) Special counsel defined.--In this 
                paragraph, the term `Special Counsel' means the 
                Special Counsel appointed under section 1211(b) 
                of title 5, United States Code.
                  (B) Authority of integrity committee.--
                          (i) In general.--An allegation of 
                        wrongdoing against the Special Counsel 
                        or the Deputy Special Counsel may be 
                        received, reviewed, and referred for 
                        investigation to the same extent and in 
                        the same manner as in the case of an 
                        allegation against an Inspector General 
                        or against a staff member of an Office 
                        of Inspector General described under 
                        paragraph (4)(C), subject to the 
                        requirement that the representative 
                        designated by the Special Counsel under 
                        paragraph (5)(A)(ii) shall recuse 
                        himself or herself from the 
                        consideration of any allegation brought 
                        under this paragraph.
                          (ii) Coordination with existing 
                        provisions of law.--This paragraph 
                        shall not eliminate access to the Merit 
                        Systems Protection Board for review 
                        under section 7701 of title 5, United 
                        States Code. To the extent that an 
                        allegation brought under this paragraph 
                        involves section 2302(b)(8) of such 
                        title, a failure to obtain corrective 
                        action within 120 days after the date 
                        on which the allegation is received by 
                        the Integrity Committee shall, for 
                        purposes of section 1221 of such title, 
                        be considered to satisfy section 
                        1214(a)(3)(B) of such title.
                  (C) Regulations.--The Integrity Committee may 
                prescribe any rules or regulations necessary to 
                carry out this paragraph, subject to such 
                consultation or other requirements as may 
                otherwise apply.
          (13) Committee records.--The Chairperson of the 
        Council shall maintain the records of the Integrity 
        Committee.
    (e) Authorization of Appropriations for Council.--For the 
purposes of carrying out this section, there are authorized to 
be appropriated into the revolving fund described in subsection 
(c)(3)(B), out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise 
appropriated, the following sums:
          (1) $7,500,000 for fiscal year 2016.
          (2) $7,800,000 for fiscal year 2017.
          (3) $8,100,000 for fiscal year 2018.
          (4) $8,500,000 for fiscal year 2019.
          (5) $8,900,000 for fiscal year 2020.
          (6) $9,300,000 for fiscal year 2021.

                                  [all]