The Government Accountability Office (GAO) wants Congress to pass legislation to require the federal government to release details about the financial standing of thousands of political appointees. The watchdog agency suggests releasing the appointees’ assets, debts and past salaries. The agency said the move was necessary to promote ethics in government and conflict-free leadership. (ProPublica, March 19, 2019, by Derek Kravitz)
A GAO study showed that federal agencies are unable to consistently track political appointees and compliance with ethics protocols. Without a single source for political appointees, it is impossible for the public to find reliable, timely and comprehensive information. (Federal News Network, March 15, 2019, by Nicole Ogrysko)
Note: FAC awarded ProPublica its 2018 Free Speech & Open Government Award for its investigation of 520 Trump political appointees made without any disclosures of their backgrounds. The nonprofit used the Freedom of Information Act to shine light on the appointments. The investigation revealed that many of the appointees contributed to the right-wing Breitbart News and subscribed to conspiracy theories. There were also 188 former lobbyists. For the full story on the award, click here.