A bipartisan inspector general bill has been passed by the House State Affairs Committee to create an office of inspector general for the government of Idaho. This legislation was co-sponsored by Rep. John Rusche, D-Moscow, and Representative Lynn Luker, R-Boise. This new office will handle and receive all complaints of waste, fraud or corruption within the government.

“Currently, there’s nowhere for an employee or another who has concern about fraud, waste or misuse to take the complaint,” Rusche told the panel. The new office would be in the state Board of Examiners, and would have just the inspector general, who would serve a six-year term, and one support staffer; the estimated cost next year is $250,000.

“When I last checked, 19 states had inspector generals, often housed in the governor’s office,” Rusche told the committee. Many were for specific departments, but seven states had a “wide scope as is envisioned here.” He said, “To avoid conflicts between the branches of government, the judiary and the Legislature are not included within the scope of the inspector general’s office.”

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