Cause of Action applauds Natural Resources Committee for their call to appoint permanent Inspector General at the DOI

WASHINGTON – Cause of Action, a government accountability and watchdog group applauds the House Committee on Natural Resources for their call to appoint a permanent Inspector General at the Department of Interior. CoA agrees that the acting Inspector General has “not been aggressive in blowing the whistle on misdeeds by the current Administration.”

Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein called into question accountability at the DOI:

“On November 29, 2012 Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar denied the renewal of a Special Use Permit to Drakes Bay Oyster Company, a family-run, sustainable oyster farm located in Point Reyes National Park.  In the process of making this decision, Cause of Action has found that the Secretary failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the Data Quality Act among others.  In failing to investigate these violations, we have found acting Inspector General Mary Kendall to be negligent in her duties as Acting Inspector General.  Senator David Vitter even wrote a letter to the acting IG herself, expressing concerns that the OIG may have gone out of its way to protect Interior employees she was supposed to be independently investigating.

While it is evident the DOI significantly lacks oversight, accountability and transparency, acting IG Kendall has allowed actions at the department to go unchecked. Perhaps it would be best to look elsewhere for a more credible, reliable, and ethical permanent IG.”

For more information on Drakes Bay Oyster Company and their lawsuit against Secretary Salazar, the National Parks Service, and the Department of the Interior, click here.