October 21, 2022

Castro, Fitzpatrick Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Oversight and Accountability of U.S. Foreign Aid Programs

WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) introduced the Enhancing Development Finance Corporation Oversight Act of 2022, bipartisan legislation that would improve oversight and accountability of U.S. foreign aid programs by granting law enforcement authority to the Office of Inspector General of the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC OIG).

“As the Development Finance Corporation works to improve global standards of living, its Inspector General should be fully empowered to ensure that U.S. international development programs are managed with integrity and accountability,” said Congressman Castro. “The Enhancing Development Finance Corporation Oversight Act will help eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in foreign aid programs and allow the U.S. to set a stronger example of good governance. I thank Rep. Fitzpatrick for his partnership on this bill and encourage the Senate to retain this bipartisan reform in the final FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.”

"As the agency tasked with making America a stronger and more competitive leader on the global stage, it is imperative that The International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) be given law enforcement authority in order to properly provide oversight of their programs," said Congressman Fitzpatrick. "This bipartisan legislation will allow the DFC to continue its global efforts while reducing unnecessary misuse of resources and I am proud to join my colleague Rep. Castro to introduce this critical piece of legislation to enhance accountability of our foreign aid programs."

In 2018, Congress created the Development Finance Corporation and established the DFC OIG through the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act. However, law enforcement authorities for inspectors general are granted separately through the Inspector General Act of 1978, which directly grants law enforcement authority to some inspectors general and outlines a process by which the U.S. Attorney General can delegate law enforcement authority to others. Until the dedicated OIG for DFC became operational in 2020, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) OIG provided oversight for DFC programs. While the USAID OIG has law enforcement authority, the DFC OIG currently does not.

The Department of Justice has indicated that it has no objections to providing law enforcement authority to the DFC OIG but has not moved to grant such authority. In July 2022, Rep. Castro secured an amendment in the FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to add DFC OIG to the list of federal agency inspectors general with law enforcement authority granted in statute. The legislation introduced today demonstrates the continued bipartisan support for this amendment and emphasizes the need for the Senate to retain the House-passed language in the FY 2023 NDAA conference.

The bill text for the Enhancing Development Finance Corporation Oversight Act of 2022 can be found here.