Senators look to jump start hiring for IG staff overseeing pandemic relief
- By FederalSoup Staff
- May 19, 2020
To quickly ramp up oversight of taxpayer-funded pandemic relief, a bipartisan group of senators led by Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced legislation to help the watchdog agency quickly onboard critical staff. The Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR) Expedited Hiring Authority Act allows the office to bypass the lengthy government hiring process to so it can quickly ramp up oversight operations.
The act amends the CARES Act to expedite the IG’s hiring and contracting authority and allows it to use volunteers and detailees from other government agencies. It also waives penalties for rehiring former government employees who are now receiving a government pension and incentivizes retired employees with the needed experience and training to return to service by allowing them to receive their full retirement paycheck and a full paycheck from SIGPR for their work. Congress has passed similar legislation to expedite hiring for previous special inspectors general.
“Trillions in taxpayer dollars are headed out the door to help our nation respond to and recover from this pandemic, so we have a duty to make sure it gets to those in need and is used as intended. This bill helps the special inspector general quickly build its team so it can hit the ground running. We can’t let bureaucratic delays drag out with some much hard-earned taxpayer dollars on the line,” Grassley said in a statement.
The legislation is backed by several good-government advocates, including the Project on Government Oversight, Taxpayers Against Fraud, Government Accountability Project and the National Whistleblower Center, Grassley’s office said.