Professor Paul Light Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee

Paul C. Light

Professor Paul C. Light of NYU Wagner, a nationally recognized scholar of government reform, offered testimony Aug. 5 before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the U.S. Inspector General Office and the boundaries of its access to the records of government programs and agencies.

Light told the Committee, “I believe the Office of Legal Counsel drew the lines much too tightly,” and he added that Congress intended to give the government’s inspector generals “full and unfettered access to any and all information they would need to meet their statutory obligations” in their role at the forefront of fighting waste, fraud, and abuse in the government.

Light said he “could find absolutely no evidence that Congress ever imagined that department and agency heads would withhold access in an effort to prevent disclosure of protecting sensitive, even confidential information.

"Rather," he went on, "Congress expected the IGs to follow all relevant statutory provisions to perform this task themselves They were to receive all information, but prevent any disclosure.”

Professor Light is the author of “Monitoring Government: Inspectors General and the Search for Accountability,” a detailed history, and his appearance marked the 25th time he has testified before Congress as a member of the NYU Wagner faculty,

The testimony delivered by Professor Light was covered by C-SPAN.