Lee Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Increase Accountability Within the Department of Justice

March 4, 2015

WASHINGTON – This week, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced a bipartisan bill to improve transparency and increase accountability within the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), by granting its Office of the Inspector General complete jurisdiction to investigate all allegations of misconduct by department personnel. Under The Inspector General Access Act (S. 618) the Inspector General would no longer be required to refer to the Office of Professional Responsibility cases involving alleged misconduct by DOJ attorneys, investigators, and law enforcement personnel. Co-sponsoring the legislation are Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
“Congress created the Office of the Inspector General in order to establish an independent, and therefore impartial, entity within each federal agency that would investigate allegations of departmental misconduct,” said Sen. Lee. “But under current law, the Department of Justice is the only agency whose Inspector General does not have complete jurisdiction to carry out its mission. As a result, the American people have little assurance that the investigations into alleged misconduct by DOJ attorneys will be objective, transparent, and unencumbered by any conflict of interest. The Inspector General Access Act is a simple, common-sense solution that will bring the Department of Justice into harmony with all other federal agencies and help restore the American people’s trust in their public institutions.”
“Americans pledge to seek and protect ‘Liberty and Justice for All,’ not ‘Liberty and Justice for Most’ – and those enforcing the law themselves cannot break the rules to get convictions; everyone in America must be held equally accountable,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “I’m proud to co-sponsor the Inspector General Access Act because it does just that: it gives the men and women charged with judging the actions of attorneys the power to mete out justice within the Justice Department.”