06.11.15

Baldwin Introduces NDAA Amendment to Increase Transparency at the VA Office of Inspector General

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016 aimed at increasing transparency at the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG). Based on an amendment Senator Baldwin included in the Inspector General Empowerment Act (S. 579), this amendment would change current law to ensure that when the VA OIG completes a report, it is promptly shared with the VA Secretary, Congress, and the public.

“Today’s amendment continues my efforts to improve transparency and accountability of Inspector General reports,” said Senator Baldwin. “This is a common sense change that will make sure that these reports are appropriately shared so that when problems are identified by the Inspector General, action can be taken to fix those problems.”

This amendment would help address failures of transparency and agency oversight by requiring recommendations made by the VA OIG during investigations, audits or other reports to be sent directly to the VA Secretary.  In addition, these recommendations would be available to the public and submitted directly to relevant Congressional oversight committees.  Lastly, if the Inspector General initiated an investigation based on information provided by an individual, the recommendations would also be shared with that individual.

Last month, Senator Baldwin was successful in including a similar amendment in the bipartisan FY16 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA), and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which passed through the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 21-9.