A security guard seeking to oversee trillions of dollars in coronavirus spending and other relief blew up a new Justice Department note as he called on Congress to clarify its oversight mandate.
Brian Miller, the Treasury’s special inspector general for pandemic recovery, said Friday that a decision this week by the Justice Department’s Legal Council (OLC) service “permanently reduced oversight” of specific assistance programs implemented during of the coronavirus pandemic.
Miller in his quarterly report to Congress warned that his efforts were limited after the OLC considered his the supervisory jurisdiction applies only to direct loans from the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Reserve̵
The three programs were established by various acts of Congress last year to provide support to employees of airlines, states, cities and small businesses affected by blocking orders and safety restrictions amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
In his report Friday, Miller said his office had been “met with resistance” for several months by the Treasury Department and the Treasury Inspector General’s oversight of his Coronavirus Support Fund and Salary Support Program.
Miller, who was appointed by the former President TrumpDonald Trump’s split with Washington is expanding – but it’s up to Turkey to close the rift, said his office had tracked down fraud and “double immersion” in aid programs, but that in recent months of the Trump administration, a war on grass among various inspectors general has undermined his oversight.
The guard’s update was first reported by The New York Times. Hill turned to the White House and the Treasury for comment on the report.
“All special inspectors share simultaneous jurisdiction with their counterparts and must partner with the inspectors general to achieve their respective mandatory oversight missions,” Miller wrote on Friday. “There is nothing more frustrating about achieving these missions than the battles with lawns.”
The Inspector General for Pandemic Reconstruction called on Congress to pass legislation clarifying “the mandate of his office to oversee the Coronavirus Assistance Fund, the Wage Assistance Program and other pandemic-related programs run by the Treasury Secretary.”
Later in the report, Miller referred to his testimony during his confirmation hearing last year before the Senate, when he “promised to be thorough and truthful in a congressional warning,” if we find that things are not working well in an area. “
“A year later, the jurisdiction of SIGPR began to be viewed closely, not expansively, and my only conclusion is that” things are not working well, “he wrote on Friday.
The report also contains a letter from Tuesday from Lori Shaffer, the chief deputy chief adviser to the Treasury, said Miller only oversaw the Treasury’s direct loans and investments in Federal Reserve facilities, and the rest of the support is being tracked by other supervisors.
“The Ministry of Finance is committed to preventing waste, fraud and abuse, and we are committed to being responsive and helpful to SIGPR,” Schaefer wrote.
Daniel Kofski, deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Legal Council Service, wrote in a statement Thursday that his office had concluded that the language in the Care Act passed last year limited the special inspector general’s jurisdiction.
Hill turned to the Department of Justice for comment on Miller’s report.
The oversight dispute comes as President Biden hopes to hand over trillions of dollars in additional relief proposals, including $ 4 trillion for jobs and infrastructure development programs. The administration is also tasked with overseeing another $ 1.9 trillion in coronavirus relief approved in March.
Updated: 9:42 p.m.