Nutter Strengthens Anti-Corruption Office
KYW Newsradio reports Mayor Nutter has signed an order continuing and strengthening the city’s Office of Inspector General, bolstering the anti-corruption efforts that helped put him in office in the first place. But the Committee of Seventy countered with demand that City Council make the office permanent.
With former mayors Wilson Goode and Ed Rendell watching, Nutter signed the executive order to strengthen the language that governs the office of the inspector general.
“It enhances protections for whistleblowers by strengthening confidentiality provisions, to prevent retaliation, and to ensure that employees feel comfortable reporting misconduct,” Nutter said.
The office was created in 1985 under then-Mayor Goode.
The Committee of Seventy said Nutter’s action is just a good start:
The Committee of Seventy today urged City Council to enact, and send to city voters for approval, a pending proposed amendment to the City Charter to create a permanent and independent Inspector General. A proposal introduced by Councilman Jim Kenney on January 24, 2013 sits without action in Council’s Law and Government Committee.
“The OIG should have oversight over every city department funded by the taxpayers’ dollars,” said Ellen Kaplan, Seventy’s Interim President and CEO. Elected and appointed city employees, as well as city contractors, have nothing to fear if they are doing their jobs honestly.”
“Executive orders can easily be undone by a new mayor,” Kaplan continued. She pointed out that one reported mayoral hopeful – City Controller Alan Butkovitz – has openly questioned whether the OIG duplicates work conducted by his own office. “Just because the OIG has existed for three decades within the mayor’s office does not guarantee it will continue to exist.”
She said the Committee will ask city candidates in 2015 for their commitment to making the office permanent.
This post was updated to reflect the Committee of Seventy press release.