PROVIDENCE – Rep. Larry Valencia, D-Richmond, is urging the House Finance Committee to consider legislation he is sponsoring to establish the Office of the Inspector General as an independent way to promote good government and reduce waste, fraud, mismanagement and corruption in the state.
Under provisions of the legislation, the Office of Inspector General would have subpoena and investigative powers to allow for the prosecution of potential wrongdoers before the statute of limitations runs out. The inspector general would be appointed by a majority vote of the governor, attorney general and general treasurer for a five-year term and would be selected without regard for political affiliation. This individual would be in charge of conducting investigations involving public expenditures. The bill is modeled after a Massachusetts law that established the Office of the Inspector General in 1981. That office has led to the discovery of more than $400 million in overrun costs related to the Big Dig construction project. •