DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Ukraine: Heads Of Defense, State, And USAID Offices Of Inspectors General Hold Joint Congressional Briefing

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By Godson Umejiego, Bureau Chief, The Americas

On November 18, 2022, the heads of the Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs) for the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of State (State), and US Agency for International Development (USAID) held a joint congressional briefing on their coordinated and individual oversight activities related to Ukraine.

The OIG leaders hosted the bipartisan, bicameral briefing to discuss their formal oversight partnership, share insights from their recent joint travel to Belgium and the Netherlands, and provide an overview of their respective planned and ongoing oversight work.  They concluded the briefing with a question-and-answer session.

More than 80 staff attended from the Senate and House appropriations, armed services, oversight, intelligence, and foreign relations committees, as well as various Member offices.  The engagement was part of an ongoing dialogue between the OIGs and Congress about how the three OIGs are overseeing billions of dollars in assistance provided to Ukraine.

“This briefing highlights our commitment to transparency and information sharing among our oversight agencies and with our congressional stakeholders and the American people,” said Acting Inspector General, US Department of Defense, Sean O’Donnell.  “Consistent communication of our individual and collaborative work is essential to conduct agile, independent, and proactive oversight of aid to Ukraine.”

Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Inspector General, Department of State Diana Shaw commented, “We appreciate Congress’ ongoing interest in our Ukraine-related oversight work and for the opportunity to brief staff.  We explained how meeting with officials from the European Union, NATO, Ukraine, and the US missions enhanced our understanding of relevant programs and activities, helped identify areas of risk, and strengthened information sharing networks—all of which are key to providing stakeholders with timely and useful information.”

“We are firmly committed to our ongoing engagement with Congress and maximizing oversight of the unprecedented US response in Ukraine,” said Acting Deputy Inspector General, Nicole Angarella performing the duties of the Inspector General for USAID.  “At this briefing, we were pleased to share our recent initiatives and work products, which are designed to inform Congress and the agencies we oversee, and promote accountability and integrity over American taxpayer dollars spent in Ukraine.”

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