IMG_0652PHOENIX, March 18 – Gov. Doug Ducey today will take the first step in fulfilling another pledge from his State of the State address – creating the post of an inspector general, whose job will be to root out waste, abuse, fraud and criminal activity in executive agencies. Senate gov today will hear a striker to H2420 (competitive government programs; report), which creates the new position, along with an inspector general’s office. The inspector general would be appointed by the governor and subject to Senate approval, and would be subject to several criteria, such as not having held any political party office within two years of the appointment and having at least 10 years of “demonstrated ability” in management analysis, public administration, investigations, criminal justice administration or “other closely related disciplines.” In addition to responding to complaints and investigating agencies and employees, including the performance of employees’ official duties, the inspector general will also have the power to investigate all contractors or subcontractors who are doing work for state agencies. The inspector general’s office would be an official law enforcement agency with subpoena power, and would have oversight over investigations performed by other agencies’ inspectors general, including ADC, DPS, DES, ADOT, AHCCCS and DCS. The bill also stipulates that the inspector general establish an advisory council that includes representatives of those six agencies, as well as the inspector general himself or a designee. Records prepared or obtained by the inspector general’s office would not be subject to public disclosure, and the legislation would even make it a class one misdemeanor to “knowingly, intentionally or recklessly make public any confidential information.” Ducey announced his plans for an inspector general in his State of the State address, telling lawmakers, “Our state needs an unbiased inspector general mandated to find more areas of savings – and where corruption exists, shine a light on it. This public advocate would be equipped with a badge and subpoena power to go in, ask the tough questions and be a watchdog for the taxpayers.”