Oversight and Accountability at AUWCL

Leading up to the launch of the Oversight Project blog in 2019, American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Law & Government has hosted a series of events relating to the oversight and accountability community. On September 12, 2017 a distinguished panel including Lauren Dudley (WCL ’12), Counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations; Liz Hempowicz (WCL ’14), Policy Counsel to the Project on Government Oversight; Stephanie Litos, Senior Counsel in the Office of the DC Attorney General; Walter Shaub (WCL ’96), former head of the Office of Government Ethics; and Christopher Bartolomucci, partner at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and former associate White House counsel discussed “Oversight and Investigation of the Executive Branch.” The event featured a keynote address from Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA). The panelists gave an overview of then-existing investigations of or oversight challenges to the Executive Branch, described the various players, and addressed the importance of oversight and accountability. One emphasis of the conversation was how oversight is an area where politics and law intersect and often clash, but that the concern about effective and ethical government has historically been bipartisan.

On Jan. 18, 2018 AUWCL alumni Walter Shaub ’96 delivered a keynote setting forth “An Ethics Agenda for 2018.”  In his remarks, Shaub laid out the case for concern about the future of ethics and an agenda for those who care about restoring trust in government. He urged those in public service to ask themselves whether they can do their jobs effectively ethically and honestly and, if not, to quickly resign but, if so, to stay and fight for the principles of honest and ethical government, which is above the partisan interest.  A full, closed-captioned video of the speech is available at bit.ly/WalterShaubEthicsAgenda.

Finally, on April 18, 2018 DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, DOD Acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, and Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service Deborah Jeffrey addressed how inspectors general work with federal agencies and departments. This discussion was part of an ongoing series of events convening federal agency general counsels from across the government.