The State Department has lacked a Senate-confirmed Inspector General (IG) for more than two years. According to a letter sent today by CREW, President Biden must fill the IG vacancy at the State Department as soon as possible to sustain the independence and functionality of the department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) and ensure sufficient oversight.
The State IG is responsible for leading an office dedicated to fighting waste, fraud, abuse and misconduct in the State Department and the U.S. Agency for Global Media. This role is vital in promoting efficiency and effectiveness in the State Department—yet no one has held the position permanently since May 2020, when Donald Trump fired then-IG Steven Linick after reports that the office was investigating possible misconduct by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The vacancy continues to undermine U.S. credibility and the integrity of the State Department at a time when the department is leading efforts to protect U.S. national security interests in Ukraine. The empty position also raises questions about the government’s commitment to independent oversight and government accountability, and weakens public trust in the department.
It is in the best interest of State Department operations, our national security and foreign policy, and the public that Biden takes steps to ensure that the Senate receives an IG nomination for confirmation as soon as possible. Given the pressing matters that the OIG handles and the key role that the State Department plays in our diplomatic and security efforts across the globe, permanent leadership at the State OIG must be made a priority.