A bipartisan group of senators and representatives have introduced the Oversight.gov Authorization Act, which would formally authorize the establishment and maintenance of the Oversight.gov website.

The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Ted W. Lieu, D-Calif., and Jody Hice, R-Ga., and Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. In a press release, the legislators said formally authorizing the Oversight.gov website was important because the website helps the public more easily access reports that have been generated by Inspectors General (IGs).

“Our bill will allow for crucial improvements to be made to Oversight.gov, a central online location for all Federal Inspectors General to publish their reports,” Rep. Lieu said. “IGs are critical to rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in our government, and this website will make their findings more accessible to the American people.”

The website was initially launched in 2017 by the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), which is an independent government entity that oversees the Offices of Inspectors General.

“The inspector general community is on the frontlines in combatting waste, fraud, and abuse across Federal agencies on behalf of the American taxpayer,” said Rep. Hice. “The Oversight.gov Authorization Act is an important step in promoting and protecting the work of inspectors general, enabling the public to view firsthand the need for greater accountability and transparency in our government.”

In addition to more broadly shining a light on government waste, fraud, and abuse, the legislators said enshrining the website into law will aid in the COVID-19 response. They said the bill would improve accountability over COVID-19 Federal spending and the work of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee by bolstering the webpage dedicated to housing this information as mandated under the CARES Act.

“A government of the people must be accountable to the people,” Sen. Grassley said. “Oversight.gov helps to bring together the great work of our Inspectors General from across the bureaucracy on one comprehensive website for the American people. This one-stop-shop for transparency is essential to improving accountability in the information age.”

The bill is endorsed by Campaign for Accountability, R Street Institute, Common Cause, Government Accountability Project, and Project On Government Oversight. CIGIE was consulted during the bill’s formation.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.