Vote for OIG Independence
The OIG is currently part of the Executive Branch of government in Baltimore City. Administratively, the OIG falls under the Baltimore City Law Department and the IG reports to the City Solicitor. Best practices, dating back more than a decade, call for a more independent IG. The lack of independence has historically created a lack of effectiveness. The ability to investigate any employee, department, contractor or entity using Baltimore City funds without political influence or pressure is paramount to an effective IG office. Independence fosters accountability, transparency and integrity in government.
Under the administration of Mayor Catherine Pugh and with the support of the City Council, the issue was again brought forth in March of 2018. Councilman Ryan Dorsey introduced a bill and worked with the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition to bring the bill before the City Council. The bill was also supported by Council members Bullock, Burnett, Clarke, Cohen, Dorsey, Henry, Pinkett, Schliefer, Scott, and Sneed. Councilman Dorsey worked with the Mayor’s Office to ensure the bill would have proper funding and personnel.
The bill was introduced and first read on April 23, 2018. Inspector General Cumming and her staff were on-hand to answer questions and present the many changes that had occurred in the office in just three months.
To achieve independence, the bill will be codified in the Baltimore City Charter. Under the new provisions, funding for the OIG will be provided. Moreover, the IG shall serve a 6-year term and can only be appointed or removed by a quorum of four members of the Advisory Board. Mayor Catherine Pugh signed the bill on July 30, 2018. It will be on the ballot as Question F in the General election in November. We urge every Baltimore City resident to cast his or her vote toward independence for the Office of the Inspector General. Vote Yes to Question F!