Inspectors general reform (HB 1385) passed the Florida Senate by a vote of 37-1 on May 1st. The House approved the measure 114-0 on April 23rd. The bill now goes to Governor Rick Scott.
“Inspectors general are the public’s watchdogs within state government and this bill gives them more independence to conduct investigations,” said Dan Krassner, executive director of the nonpartisan research institute and government watchdog group Integrity Florida.
“We commend Senator Jack Latvala and Representative Dan Raulerson for their reform efforts (HB 1385) to increase oversight of state operations and accountability for the public’s money.
Presently, state agency heads are able to appoint and remove their own inspectors general, which creates built-in conflicts of interest. This bill calls for inspectors general to instead report directly to the governor’s chief inspector general. The reporting change should allow our internal government watchdogs to do their job without fear of retribution from leaders of the agencies they investigate.
Agency heads and their deputies should not be able to prevent an inspector general from conducting an audit or investigation. Floridians are counting on our internal watchdogs to root out fraud, waste and abuse within state government.
The chief inspector general would make the appointment and removal (only for cause) decisions for the agency inspectors general.”
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