In The News
January 20, 2023

Sharyl Attkisson

Last year, a whistleblower disclosed to Empower Oversight that the inspectors general (IGs) of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) had received salary payments in excess of the legal limits.

As described in previous Empower Oversight FOIA requests to the NSANRO, the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), and the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General (DOD-OIG),—a January 25, 2022, memorandum addressed to the DOD-OIG analyzed the overpayments, recommended actions to correct them, and more generally, recommended a review of NSA-OIG’s and NRO-OIG’s personnel policies to ensure that the law is followed in the future.

The whistleblower also disclosed that CIGIE’s Integrity Committee received a copy of the January 25th memorandum and shared it with CIGIE’s members—including the NSA-IG and the NRO-IG. Yet the Integrity Committee, co-chaired by the NSA-IG, failed to open an inquiry into the overpayments. 

Jason Foster, Founder and President of Empower Oversight said “Unfortunately, this looks like a total failure of transparency and accountability by the IG community.  Taking salary above the legal limits is an abuse of the public’s trust—doubly so when an IG does the taking, and the IG community refuses to investigate while resisting its transparency obligations under FOIA.”

CIGIE’s Integrity Committee is supposed to police the IGs. And, eight months after Empower Oversight’s FOIA requests, it has failed to provide even the most perfunctory explanation of why it refused to investigate the circumstances that allowed two IGs to receive multiple years of salary overpayments.

The public has been left to presume that CIGIE—as the whistleblower claims—took no action on the overpayments, and the American people have no records to confirm whether and to what extent the employing agencies sought and received reimbursement of taxpayer funds improperly paid to the two IGs.

Read the full article HERE.