(Washington, DC) – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) praised the appointment of a new acting Inspector General (IG) at the Department of Commerce yesterday.

The appointment followed a letter from the committee leaders requesting the immediate replacement of the current acting IG.

“Yesterday, President Biden notified the Congress about the appointment of Jill Baisinger, of the Department of Interior OIG, to serve as the acting IG at the Department of Commerce following a 30-day delay in compliance with federal law. In his letter the President cites our extensive bipartisan investigation into whistleblower retaliation in the Office of the Inspector General and made clear that he acted on our suggestion that no senior official within the OIG should lead the office. We’re pleased to see our call was heeded. This is a win for good government and evidence of the value of strong bipartisan Congressional oversight. We’re looking forward to working with acting IG Baisinger as she corrects the significant issues that the Committee uncovered during its investigation. It is our continued hope that a permanent IG will be nominated soon to bring long term stability to this office.”

A full timeline of the Committee’s investigation follows:

April 5, 2023 – Letter notifying IG Gustafson that the Committee is investigating allegations of whistleblower retaliation and other misconduct.

June 6, 2023 – Letter requesting documents related to relevant personnel decisions.

June 15, 2023 – Letter demanding answers after evidence showed that the IG compromised whistleblower anonymity by sharing the June 6 letter.

July 7, 2023 – Follow-up letter on whistleblower disclosure as June 15 letter goes unanswered.

July 28, 2023 – Letter requesting withheld documents and further information about whistleblower disclosure. 

July 31, 2023 – Follow-up letter requesting Commerce IG stop withholding documents related to the Committee’s investigation into allegations of misconduct.

March 19, 2024 – Letter to the President requesting the immediate replacement of the acting IG.