CBS News Investigative producer Laura Strickler wrote this story for CBSNews.com.
The new acting Inspector General for the Pentagon - who is responsible for investigating corruption at the $600 billion a year department - is going to split his time between two jobs, CBS News has learned.
Gordon S. Heddell is the current Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Labor but he will not leave his post. Instead, he will divide his time between the Labor and the Defense Department.
Upon hearing of the new part-time Pentagon post, Senator Charles Grassley R-IA responded, "The IG office at the Defense Department is already an embattled office," he said, "I have yet to see a full-time IG at the Pentagon be up to the task of running the office, let alone with a half-time top cop." Grassley says the move puts "tax dollars at greater risk to waste, fraud, and abuse."
Heddell's spokesperson referred all questions to the White House.
White House Spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore confirmed that Heddell will do double duty but said in an email, "Since the [Pentagon] Inspector General position is so important, we wanted to ensure that a seasoned Inspector General would be able to immediately fill this role."
The Department of Labor has an annual budget of $50 billion, leaving Heddell with a new combined oversight responsibility of $650 billion in taxpayer dollars.
Inspector Generals are responsible for investigating waste, fraud and abuse. The Pentagon has experienced a 30% growth in defense contracts since 2004 from $241 billion to $316 billion according to a report by the Pentagon Inspector General. But the report notes that while the number of contracts has increased, the number of auditors and investigators has remained "nearly constant". A recent plan for growth released by the IG calls for 481 new personnel.
The Pentagon IG post became vacant last week when Claude Kicklighter announced his resignation. Kicklighter is expected to stay at the Pentagon until the end of the month when he will leave for a teaching position at George Mason University.
By Laura Strickler
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