COMMENTARY: Options for the Office of Delaware Inspector General

The following is the third of a three-part series entitled “Curing Delaware’s Flawed Governance.” To read the first two parts, visit the Opinion section of DelawareStateNews.net:

There are various options for establishing an independent Office of Inspector General in Delaware. The strongest requires a state constitutional amendment. This in turn requires a 75 percent majority in two successive sessions of the Delaware General Assembly — the same General Assembly that has presided over successive staff and resource cuts to the Office of the State Auditor.

Herein lies the dilemma: the two major parties, under the guise of the “Delaware Way”, have systematically maintained special interest controlled politics as usual at public expense. However, establishment of a Delaware Office of Inspector General runs contrary to the current power structure and will not happen in the absence of overwhelming political pressure.

Graham, Dave by .

Dave Graham

An independent Delaware Office of Inspector General, with conservator of the peace powers, established by state constitutional amendment instead of statute, would be the strongest option for Delaware citizens as it would take a state constitutional amendment to alter or abolish when it.

The second option would be legislation creating a statutory Office of Inspector General, passed by an act of the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor. The third and weakest option would be creation of a more limited office of inspector general appointed by the governor, in an existing cabinet department, restricted to state executive agencies by a gubernatorial executive order.

This could be rescinded by another executive order, making it the most politically limited, ineffective and unstable option.

Nothing short of a fully independent Office of Inspector General, elected on a nonpartisan basis, will be adequate to combat corruption and reduce waste, fraud and abuse of power in the state of Delaware. Partisan politics must be removed from the process in order to achieve maximum objectivity and effectiveness. Ideally, the scope of the inspector general should also extend to the political subdivisions of Delaware.

The two parties have given us a closed-loop special-interest-driven climate of corruption at public expense in which basic public integrity reforms are highly unlikely. Ultimately, it is up to the people to decide the issue by changing the political alignment of Delaware both at the polls and through change of party affiliation.

Von Baumgart by .

Wolfgang von Baumgart

In contrast to the Democratic and Republican parties, the Independent Party of Delaware (IPoD) advocates fundamental government reform in the greater public interest, including establishment of an independent office of inspector general, a stronger public integrity code, initiative, referendum and recall. Our program seeks to place more power in the hands of the People instead of the special interests.

The choice is up to the voters in the 2016 election as they now have a clear-cut alternative to politics as usual in the First State.

Editor’s Note: Dave Graham was the 2014 Independent Party of Delaware (IPoD) candidate for attorney general, the 2012 IPoD-endorsed Republican write-in candidate for governor, the 2010 Republican write-in candidate for attorney general, a 2008 filed Republican candidate for governor, and a candidate in the 2004 Republican primary for governor. He also serves as the treasurer for IPoD.

A Delaware-licensed CPA and a 1979 graduate of Goldey Beacom College, in his youth Mr. Graham served as a U.S. Army sergeant with the First Armored Division in Germany where he graduated from the NCO Academy. He changed his party registration from Republican to IPoD in April 2014

Wolfgang von Baumgart is the secretary general and chairman emeritus of the Independent Party of Delaware. Mr. von Baumgart is a reporter for the MidLantic Dispatch and Delaware Politics.net.

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