USDA disputes OIG review
The USDA Inspector General says the agency might not have the legal spending authority to move two USDA research agencies to Kansas City.
The independent Inspector General’s review says the department failed to get Congressional approval and questions whether it has the budgetary power to use appropriated funding to relocate.
But, a USDA spokesperson says the report affirms the Department has the legal authority to relocate ERS and NIFA and that the budgetary provisions cited requiring committee approval have been ruled unconstitutional.
The spokesman says the case is closed.
Full USDA statement: “The Inspector General’s report affirms the Department has the legal authority to relocate ERS and NIFA. The budgetary provisions cited by the OIG report requiring committee approval have been ruled unconstitutional. To say the Department was out of step with budgetary requirements disregards the authority given to the Executive Branch by the U.S. Constitution. The Department is not required to abide by provisions that have been deemed unconstitutional, therefore we will not take the OIG’s recommendation to ignore nearly forty years of precedent set by the Supreme Court, Office of Legal Counsel, and the Government Accountability Office – an arm of Congress. Since the Inspector General affirms the Department has the legal authority and we do not agree with the unconstitutional budgetary provision, this case is closed. This is opinion based on policy decisions that have no basis in fact.”