Presidentially appointed inspectors general (IG) at two key intelligence community agencies were collectively overpaid more than $168,000 between 2016 and 2020, but it’s unclear whether any corrective action has been taken, according to a Department of Defense (DOD) memo obtained by a nonprofit government watchdog.
Information about the overpayments is contained in a Jan. 25 memo from DOD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civilian Personnel Policy Nancy Anderson Speight to Marguerite Garrison, DOD deputy IG for administrative investigations, who requested Speight’s review.
The Speight memo was obtained and verified by Empower Oversight Whistleblowers and Researchers, the Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit that describes itself as a group that “helps insiders safely and legally report waste, fraud, abuse, corruption, and misconduct to the proper authorities, and seeks to hold those authorities accountable to act on such reports by, among other means, publishing information concerning the same.” A copy of the memo was also made available to The Epoch Times.
Susan Gibson is the IG at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), while Rob Storch is the IG at the National Security Agency (NSA). Gibson was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2016 and Storch by President Donald Trump in 2018. Storch is also President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the DOD IG, a nomination that has been pending in the Senate since November 2021.
Jason Foster, Empower Oversight’s (EO) founder and president, said in a statement: “Inspector General offices must be held to the highest standards of integrity. Independent watchdogs cannot abuse the public’s trust and expect to escape the same measure of accountability they are charged with enforcing on others in government.
“The [CIGIE] Integrity Committee is supposed to police the inspectors general, but if it cannot explain why it took no action on these allegations that would raise serious questions about whether it is capable of living up to its mission and the ideal expressed in its name.”
Storch is listed on the CIGIE website as a member of the Integrity Committee. The NSA spokesman confirmed that Storch recused himself from the panel’s discussion of the overpayments he received. The spokesman also said that, while he couldn’t confirm or deny whether the panel discussed issues related to other IGs’ overpayments, Storch would have recused himself in that instance as well.
EO said in its statement that it has filed five Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking documents related to the alleged salary overpayments. In each of the FOIAs, EO informs the agencies that it has reason to believe the overpayment issue has been discussed at CIGIE meetings.
“Specifically, one or both of the NSA-IG and the NRO-IG were allegedly in attendance on such occasions. Moreover, the whistleblower alleges that CIGIE leadership recently warned [presidentially appointed] IGs that the DOD memo had been sent to the CIGIE-IG, but that it had refused to investigate the excess salary payments to the NSA and NRO IGs,” the FOIA requests state.
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