Rep. Shanley legislation would create the office of inspector general
STATE HOUSE — Rep. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick) has introduced legislation that would create the office of inspector general.
The bill (2019-H 5236) would establish the office as an independent administrative agency charged with the responsibility to investigate, detect, and prevent fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in the expenditure of public funds.
“People have so little faith in the efficiency of their government. This position could do a lot to rectify that by showing the people that we are committed to eliminating waste, fraud and mismanagement in the expenditure of taxpayer money,” said Representative Shanley. “Inspectors general in other states promote good government, conduct confidential investigations, improve transparency in government, and helps government run more effectively.”
Shanley points to the neighboring commonwealth of Massachusetts — the first state in the union to have an office of inspector general — as an example of the position’s potential for success.
“Every year in Massachusetts — since 1981 when the office was created — the inspector general comes up with tens of millions of dollars in recommended savings, which in 2016 alone translated to $8 million in actual savings,” said Representative Shanley.
Under the legislation, the inspector general would be elected by the governor, the attorney general, the general treasurer, the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, the speaker and the minority leader of the House of Representatives and the president and minority leader of the Senate for a five-year term.
The inspector general would be charged with supervising, coordinating and conducting audits, criminal, civil and administrative investigations and inspections or oversight reviews. The office would also be responsible for making sure public agencies are compliant with the law, and for recommending policies to facilitate the relationship between state agencies, state and municipal government and state and federal government, and to eliminate fraud.
The legislation, which is cosponsored by Representatives Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown), Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket), Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown) and Liana Cassar (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence), has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903