Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), a member of the Intelligence Committee, released this statement on Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson:
“I have long been a strong advocate for the Inspectors General. They are vital partners in Congress’s effort to identify inefficient or ineffective government programs and to root out fraud and other wrongdoing. The investigations and reports of IGs throughout the government help Congress shape legislation and oversight activities – improving government performance, providing important transparency into programs, and giving Americans better value for their tax dollar.
“In 2008, I coauthored with former Senators Claire McCaskill and Joe Lieberman The Inspector General Reform Act (P.L. 110-40), which among other provisions requires the President to notify the Congress 30 days prior to the removal of an Inspector General along with the reasons for the removal. In notifying Congress yesterday, the President followed the procedures in that law; however, I did not find his rationale for removing Inspector General Atkinson to be persuasive. While I recognize that the President has the authority to appoint and remove Inspectors General, I believe Inspector General Atkinson served the Intelligence Community and the American people well, and his removal was not warranted.”