I also want to thank Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Margaret Weichert, for her service as Executive Chair of the Council; Inspector General Michael Horowitz, for chairing
It is an honor to join America’s Inspectors General, along with the supervisors, auditors, investigators, attorneys, and staff who help to promote integrity in government.
All executive branch employees take the same oath of office.
The first obligation is generic. It imposes a duty to pursue the national interest over any private interest.
But the final clause is specific. Everybody recites the same words, but the meaning varies. In order to well and faithfully discharge the duties of “the” office, you need to understand its unique responsibilities.
You need to know what you stand for.
In the Inspector General community, your mission is to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in agency programs and operations.
As a young prosecutor, I learned how to find fraud. Just look for opportunities, situations where there is a nexus of discretion and profit.
But I encourage you to keep the Jones article in mind. Never accept the proposition that fraud and corruption are unavoidable. Root them out when you find them, and then
Operating government agencies with integrity builds public confidence in the rule of law, which
Your first task is to conduct your own affairs with integrity. Inspectors General exercise considerable autonomy. Autonomy in government is a form of power, and you carry a special responsibility to exercise that power wisely.
If that quotation sounds familiar, it was also said by another well-known philosopher — Spider-Man’s Uncle, Ben Parker.
Former Attorney General Edward Levi remarked that “it is by watching [law enforcement] that many of our citizens learn what kind of country this is
It is appropriate for policy decisions to take into account political priorities. That is what elections are for. But enforcement must remain nonpartisan.
As a prosecutor, and as a United States Attorney, I worked
I hope you also work closely with your agency leaders to help them achieve efficiencies and avoid pitfalls. Cases occasionally arise that put you at odds
In the Department of Justice, we manage 115,000 employees, tens of thousands of contractors, and thousands
In 2017, our Inspector General’s Office completed more than 300 investigations that led to the arrest of 116 people. The office also helped to recover millions of
Preventing inappropriate disclosures of confidential information is one of the important issues I focused on during the past year.
Inspectors General appropriately encourage whistleblowers to come forward, but it is important to make clear that there are lawful ways to report wrongdoing, either to agency supervisors
Those leaks undermine public confidence and harm innocent people. At the Department of Justice, we revised our operations manual to emphasize the duty of confidentiality. Transparency is often appropriate in
Finally, I urge you to work closely with the appropriate United States Attorney or Main Justice component when you find evidence
A few months ago, in response to an Executive Order from President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions established a Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud. One of our goals is to provide guidance for
Two weeks ago, Task Force Director Matthew Baughman met with more than 50 participants from the Inspector General community. The Task Force will help us coordinate
Let me conclude with a personal reflection. When I first took the oath of office as a prosecutor in 1990, I planned to spend just a few years in government. The mission attracted me, but the people
In challenging moments, I draw inspiration from a speech delivered by Attorney General Robert Jackson in 1940.
If you follow that advice, you will remain faithful to your oath. So seek the truth, serve law, and always stay humble and kind.
I am grateful for your service, and I am honored to work with you in the cause of justice.