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47 Market Square
Manheim, PA  17545

Phone:  (717) 664-4979
Toll-Free:  (800)-983-0537
Fax:  (717) 664-4997
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Denver, PA 17517
Inside the Denver Borough Office Building
Phone:  (717) 336-2199
Fax:  (717) 336-4522
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164B East Wing
PO Box 202037
Harrisburg, PA 17120 
Phone: (717) 772-5290
Fax: (717) 783-1904

Fee Bill Targeting Waste, Fraud and Abuse in State Government Headed to Governor’s Desk
10/26/2016
HARRISBURG – Rep. Mindy Fee (R-Manheim) today was joined by Sen. Ryan Aument (R-West Hempfield) and Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) to call on Gov. Tom Wolf to sign House Bill 1618 into law, a measure passed by the General Assembly yesterday that would create by statute the Office of Inspector General in Pennsylvania.

“I am proud to champion legislation that targets waste, fraud and abuse in state government programs and spending,” Fee said.  “This legislation takes a great idea first offered by Gov. Bob Casey, improves upon that idea using national best practices, and sends a strong and important message that those who would cheat state government will be found, stopped, and held accountable.”



House Bill 1618 takes Gov. Casey’s original concept of having a waste, fraud and abuse watchdog for state agencies, which was created by executive order, and formally creates the post by law.  

The bill would promote independence for the office by requiring a bipartisan process to be used to select the inspector general by having the governor nominate a candidate and requiring two-thirds of the Senate to approve that choice.  The inspector general would serve a six-year term, be prohibited from seeking political office during and shortly after that period, and do the important work eradicating waste, fraud and abuse without political interference.

“The inspector general position demands independence,” Fee stated. “No inspector general should fear that uncovering waste, fraud and abuse in a state agency could result in being dismissed from his or her job.”

The lawmakers stressed that the passage of this legislation is no statement about the performance of the current acting inspector general, Tyrone Powell, or Gov. Tom Wolf. “I specifically amended my initial proposal to ensure that the change would not take effect until after the governor’s term ends,” Fee noted. “Soon after Gov. Wolf took office, he swiftly established measures to boost openness and transparency. I’m hopeful that he will see that an independent inspector general is another key component in good government.”

Aument, who offered an identical bill in the Senate, said that he was disappointed the governor’s spokesman has recently referred to the bill as a “waste of time.”

Aument noted that the governor has expressed concerns about legislation that he perceives as intruding upon the powers of the executive branch of government.

“I believe we need to value taxpayer contributions, make sure that the people who are truly eligible to get help receive that assistance, and catch cheaters,” Aument said.  “The vast majority of people in Pennsylvania would never view that as a waste of time. They think trying to raise taxes on working people is by far the greater wasted effort.”

“Every governor unnecessarily worries about maintaining their power,” Aument continued.  “This legislation is specifically designed to respect the governor’s role, prevent any executive from abusing this important post, empower the inspector general, and deliver to the people a promise government should keep – to never waste the money they send to Harrisburg.”

Argall, who offered an amendment to House Bill 1618 when the bill was in the Senate, spoke about provisions that were included in the bill to increase the number of inspectors dedicated to finding waste, fraud and abuse in the departments of Human Services and Health.
“For every dollar spent on welfare investigative and collective activities in the inspector general’s office, the state realizes an estimated benefit of $12,” Argall said. “This program would pay for itself again and again. More importantly, it maintains the integrity of our social assistance programs by ensuring those who need the help get it, and the cheaters get caught.”
The lawmakers expressed frustration that, despite championing an idea first offered by a popular Democrat governor and including many bipartisan provisions, the Wolf administration has consistently said he would veto the measure.

“Let’s show the people of Pennsylvania that there is value in working together,” Fee said.  “This is a real opportunity to make a meaningful difference in how state government operates and to meet many of the shared goals I believe Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly have, and to finally move away from discussions that only center around more taxes and spending.”

Representative Mindy Fee
37th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Diane Moore
dmoore@pahousegop.com
RepFee.com / Facebook.com/RepFee

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