Federal Oversight

DoD’s top watchdog will lead pandemic response oversight

The Department of Defense’s acting inspector general will lead the federal government’s top watchdogs in overseeing the implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress last week.

Glenn Fine, the DoD’s principal deputy inspector general performing the duties of the inspector general, was named chairman of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency’s (CIGIE) Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, a position mandated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed by President Donald Trump March 27.

Under Fine’s leadership, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee is responsible for preventing and mitigating “fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement, and to mitigate risks that cut across programs and agency boundaries, relating to covered funds and the coronavirus response.”

The committee will be required to submit reports to Congress and the White House on “potential management, risk, and funding problems that require immediate attention.”

“I have full confidence in these inspectors general, and the pandemic committee, to handle this challenging and important assignment effectively and transparently," Fine said in a statement. "Through our efforts, we will seek to promote transparency and ensure that funds are being used consistently with the law’s mandate to respond to this public health crises.”

Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Department of Justice and chairman of CIGIE, appointed Fine March 30. In a statement, Horowitz said Fine was suited for the role because of his 15 years of experience as a watchdog, having served 11 of those as the Justice Departmen’s IG before moving to the Pentagon.

In a statement, Fine also said he would continue to be the acting DoD inspector general.

“I also have full confidence in the staff and leaders of our office to continue our important oversight of the Department of Defense, including the additional funding provided to the Department for the pandemic response,” Fine said.

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee was appropriated $80 million in the relief bill.

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