This is why Delaware needs an inspector general | Opinion

The News Journal | Opinion | April 28, 2023
by Delaware Coalition for Open Government & Delaware Press Association

Lead-contaminated water that is poisoning children in our public schools is only the most recent tragedy in a growing list of serious problems that highlight the need for government oversight in Delaware. The First State does not have any form of independent, nonpartisan government oversight. That, too, is a serious problem. That is why we need a Delaware Office of the Inspector General.

The Inspector General would investigate corruption, waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in Delaware government and would release public reports on all investigations. The Inspector General also would work in concert with the Attorney General and the State Auditor to ensure crimes and financial wrongdoing are exposed and those responsible are held accountable.

On April 24, the Delaware Coalition for Open Government and Delaware Press Association, together with a number of co-sponsors, held a virtual panel discussion on the need for a Delaware Inspector General.

Moderated by DelCOG President John Kowalko III, the panel included Louisiana State Inspector General Stephen B. Street, Jr., Delaware State Senator Laura Sturgeon, Delaware Online/The News Journal Underserved Communities Reporter Anitra Johnson and Lead-Free Delaware Co-Chair Sarah Bucic.

The discussion — free and open to the public — illuminated how a Delaware Inspector General will strengthen government integrity and public trust through its oversight investigations as well as its recommendations to improve policies and practices. The discussion also addressed legislation moving through the Delaware General Assembly to establish an Office of the Inspector General in Delaware.

Regarding transparency and accountability, two-thirds of all states have an office of the inspector general, and establishment of a Delaware Office of the Inspector General has broad, bipartisan public support.

The time to act is now. Contact your state legislators and tell them why you are counting on them to support and vote for a bill to create a Delaware Office of the Inspector General.

Delaware Coalition for Open Government & Delaware Press Association

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