Dozens of government watchdogs are sounding the alarm that the Obama administration is stonewalling them, in what is being described as an unprecedented challenge to the agencies they're supposed to oversee.
Forty-seven of the government's 73 independent watchdogs known as inspectors general voiced their complaints in a letter to congressional leaders
this week. They accused several major agencies -- the Justice
Department, the Peace Corps and the chemical safety board -- of imposing
"serious limitations on access to records."
The inspectors general are now appealing to Congress to help them do their jobs uncovering waste, fraud, and mismanagement.
"Agency actions that limit, condition, or delay access thus have
profoundly negative consequences for our work: they make us less
effective, encourage other agencies to take similar actions in the
future, and erode the morale of the dedicated professionals that make up
our staffs," they wrote.
The letter to the chairmen and ranking members of relevant oversight
committees in the House and Senate claimed agencies are withholding
information by calling it "privileged."
In the letter, they said this interpretation poses "potentially
serious challenges to the authority of every Inspector General and our
ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., calls that extremely troubling.