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GAO: Interior, SBA Should Improve Reporting on Political Appointee Data, Ethics Training

The Government Accountability Office called on the Department of the Interior and the Small Business Administration to improve federal ethics training programs and report on the performance of political appointees in the executive branch.

A report issued Friday revealed the lack of a single source of publicly available, comprehensive and timely data on appointees at the two departments. 

“The public has an interest in knowing the political appointees serving and this information would facilitate congressional oversight and hold leaders accountable,” the report said.

SBA was also cited for not providing written procedures for initial ethics training to new political appointees. The GAO added the Interior is facing human capital and retention challenges in its ethics programs. There are full-time positions still vacant that support such programs.

“Federal ethics programs seek to safeguard the integrity of governmental decision-making,” the report said.

The government watchdog recommended that Congress consider a bill that would require the publication of political appointees serving in the executive branch as well as improvement in ethics program policies and procedures.

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