Rep. Barros’ inspector general legislation heard in House Finance
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Jean Philippe Barros’ legislation (2016-H 7180) that creates an office of inspector general was heard by the House Finance Committee last night. Under the legislation, the office would be an independent administrative agency charged with preventing and detecting fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of public funds.
“This important legislation will ensure that public taxpayer dollars are being spent effectively and properly for the betterment of our citizens,” said Representative Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket). “The inspector general’s office will not answer to any corporate or political agendas, but instead, will only be accountable to the residents and taxpayers of Rhode Island. The public deserves to know that their money is being spent correctly and this office will have the ability to wipe out the fraud, waste and corruption that concerns so many within our state.”
The inspector general’s office would investigate and monitor the expenditure of federal, state, and local public funds to any and all state programs and operations. Purchasing of supplies, services, or construction, by agencies, bureaus, divisions, sections, departments, offices, commissions, institutions and activities will also be under the purview of the inspector general. Investigations may also include the expenditures of nongovernmental agencies of federal, state, and local public funds as well.
According to the legislation, the inspector general would be appointed by a majority vote of the governor, the attorney general, and the general treasurer for a five year term beginning on the fiscal year start date of July 1. The appointee will only be eligible to serve one term and will be required to have sufficient background and experience in accounting, auditing, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public administration, investigation and criminal justice administration.
Also stated in the legislation is that no inspector general can hold, or be a candidate for, any other elective or appointed public office while serving as inspector general and one year after the appointee’s term ends. No inspector general shall hold a position in any political party or committee, nor can they participate in any political campaign of any candidate for public office while serving as inspector general either. The act would take effect upon passage.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903