Senator McKinney, Representative Drew Call for State Office of Inspector General

January 18, 2007

HARTFORD, CT – Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore John McKinney (R-Fairfield) and Representative Tom Drew (D-Fairfield) today called for the General Assembly to pass legislation creating an Office of Inspector General that would be charged with rooting out and eliminating fraud and corruption in state and municipal government.

“Elected officials and those who work for, or under the direction of state and local government must be held to the highest of ethical standards,” said Senator McKinney. “Connecticut residents know first hand the costly and damaging impact of government corruption. While we have made great progress in our ongoing efforts to clean up state government, Connecticut still lacks the institutional structure to help prevent future abuses from happening. I believe establishing an Office of Inspector General is a necessary step toward improving government accountability, eliminating government corruption and restoring the public’s faith in state agencies and elected officials.”

“I strongly support the concept of an Inspector General. It is essential that we do everything we can to ensure government accountability and eliminate waste and potential fraud. There is never a good reason to be wasteful, especially when it concerns the public’s money,” said Representative Drew. “It is often said that Government should behave more like the private sector and hopefully this is an area in which we can make that happen.”

Senator McKinney first introduced legislation to establish an Office of Inspector General in February, 2003 following a series of state and municipal government scandals. He has sponsored, supported and testified in favor of such legislation several times over the past four years.

Representative Drew joined the call to establish the state office in November following the investigations into the I-84 construction defects. McKinney and Drew hope their bipartisan legislation will quickly pass through the new General Assembly and that the Governor will sign the bill into law this year.

Under the proposed legislation, the Office of Inspector General would have broad authority and subpoena power to conduct audits and investigations, and to respond to complaints from state and municipal government employees whose confidentiality would be ensured by a strong whistleblower protection statute.