Rogers Remarks at FY24 Budget Hearing for the Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General (As Prepared)

Mar 23, 2023

I would like to welcome everyone to our second hearing of the day – a hearing on the Fiscal Year 2024 budget request for the Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General. Thank you to our subcommittee members and to Inspector General Gustafson for being here today.

Inspectors General serve as independent watchdogs within government and are a critical resource for Congress and for taxpayers.

Inspector General Gustafson, your office’s oversight of the Department of Commerce is critical to ensuring that the immense amount of mandatory and discretionary funding appropriated to the Department is spent in the best interest of the taxpayer and consistent with the Department’s mission to foster economic growth and opportunity for all.

The fiscal year 2024 budget request for the Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General is $53 million, an increase of $5 million – or 9% – over the fiscal year 2023 enacted level.

The request includes inflationary adjustments and increases for proactive targeting of grant fraud.

By comparison, the fiscal year 2024 request for the Department of Commerce is $12.3 billion, an increase of $1 billion – or 11% – over the enacted level.

It is important to note that over the previous two years, the Commerce Department was the recipient of an extraordinary amount of additional federal spending: Well over $100 billion in additional spending, in fact.

This spending has far eclipsed the annual discretionary appropriations level of the Commerce Department.

So, while the Office of Inspector General is authorized to use a portion of these funds to oversee the programs and activities that are the basis for this funding, a tremendous task lies ahead.

Inspector General Gustafson, I look forward to hearing from you today about whether, and how, your office is prepared to oversee all the recent funding directed to the Department of Commerce.

I would now like to recognize our ranking member, Mr. Cartwright of Pennsylvania, for his opening statement.