[Congressional Record Volume 144, Number 144 (Monday, October 12, 1998)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E2099-E2100]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                               speech of

                            HON. RICK LAZIO

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Saturday, October 10, 1998

  Mr. LAZIO of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the joint 
resolution, S.J. Res. 58, to recognize and praise the accomplishments 
of our Inspector Generals who strive every day to prevent and detect 
waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement, and to promote economy, 
efficiency, and effectiveness in the Federal Government.
  I would specifically like to commend the accomplishments of the 
Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD). HUD Inspector General Susan Gaffney has worked with 
the Secretaries of HUD, the Congress, HUD managers and employees and 
the public to prevent and detect waste, fraud and abuse and bring about 
positive changes in the integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness of HUD 
  For many years, HUD has been highly criticized for its poor 
performance and mismanagement. In September 1992, Congress mandated 
that the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) conduct a 
comprehensive review of HUD. The final July 1994 NAPA Report found that 
HUD's overload of some 240 programs was draining HUD's resources, 
muddling its priorities, fragmenting HUD's workforce, and confusing 
communities. NAPA concluded that if HUD did not clarify and consolidate 
it's legislative mandate in an effective, accountable manner in five 
years (by 1999), Congress and the Administration should consider 
dismantling the Department.
  And there is more. In 1994, the GAO designated HUD a ``high-risk 
agency'' because of long-standing Department-wide mismanagement which 
have made HUD vulnerable to fraud, waste, and abuse. As a result, HUD 
has weak internal controls, poorly integrated information and financial 
systems, organizational problems and an insufficient mix of staff with 
proper skills.
  HUD Inspector Susan Gaffney, appointed to office in August 1993, has 
spent the last five years getting things done at HUD.
  Gaffney brings much experience and knowledge to the table. Susan 
Gaffney received a B.A. degree at Wilson College in 1965, earned an 
M.A. at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and 
studied in the Ph.D program in economics at Cornell University.
  In 1970, Ms. Gaffney began her experience with housing issues as a 
staff analyst in the Department of Housing Preservation and Development 
with the City of New York. She departed, in 1979, as Deputy 
Commissioner of that Agency to accept a position as Director of Policy, 
Plans and Programs, Office of Inspector General, Agency for 
International Development.

  She served in that capacity until 1982, when she was selected to 
serve as Assistant Inspector General with the General Services 
Administration (GSA). In 1987, Ms. Gaffney became Deputy Inspector 
General of GSA, where she assisted the Inspector General in directing 
all audit, investigatory and administrative functions. Appointed Acting 
Assistant Director of OMB's Financial Policy and Systems Branch, 
Management Integrity Branch, an the Cash and Credit Branch. She 
developed OMB's financial management strategy, and developed policy for 
implementation of the Chief Financial Offices Act. Her duties also 
included the formulation of revised policy and instructions for the 
Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act, Federal credit programs, and 
cost principles governing Federal reimbursements.
  Beginning in 1991, Ms. Gaffney served as Chief of the Management 
Integrity Branch at OMB; and developed government-wide policy relating 
to the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act, OMB's High Risk List, 
and the Inspector General Act. She also directed government-wide 
implementation of organizational, personnel, and reporting requirements 
of the Chief Financial Officers Act. Her experience in directing audit 
and investigatory functions has allowed her to bring a level of 
professionalism to the Office of the HUD IG that demands commendation.
  Gaffney has spent the past five years at HUD supervising and 
coordinating audits and investigations of HUD's programs and 
operations. Furthermore, she recommends policies and coordinates 
activities geared to promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness 
in HUD programs.
  Susan Gaffney has worked closely with former Secretary Henry Cisneros 
and Secretary Andrew Cuomo to help change HUD's high-risk status by 
monitoring management reform initiatives made by the Department. Ms 
Gaffney has also taken important strides to improve public housing with 
the Operation Safe Home program. The Operation Safe Home program is a 
collaboration by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Federal, 
State, and local law enforcement agencies to combat crime in public and 
assisted housing.
  Despite the dedicated efforts on the part of HUD and the IG, the 
Department still must make more progress. The HUD IG's Semiannual 
report to Congress recognized improvements in some aspects of HUD's 
performance, but noted that, ``progress is slow, and the Department's 
systemic weaknesses have not been directly addressed.'' In particular, 
Gaffney found that the HUD staff is incapable of managing the enormous 
number and wide-variety of programs run by the Department. In addition, 
the OIG found that various components of HUD are not equipped to 
provide reasonable stewardship over taxpayer funds expended for their 
  The GAO also concluded that while HUD deserves credit for its 
progress in addressing management deficiencies, the department is far 
from fixed. The GAO states that HUD programs will remain high-risk 
until two actions are completed. First, HUD must complete more of its 
planned corrective actions, principally those related to internal 
controls and information systems. And, secondly, the Administration and 
Congress must agree on HUD's mission, structure, and approach to 
  It is important to acknowledge that the work of the Inspector General 
is an on-going, vital process of maintaining smooth government 
operations and of preventing the waste and abuse that can occur in 
federal programs. The HUD IG must continue her work with the Department 
to improve all high-risk programs.

[[Page E2100]]

  I encourage all Members of Congress to support this resolution. Lets 
praise and acknowledge the valiant efforts of all the Offices of 
Inspector Generals to facilitate our oversight duties and help us to 
improve the programs and operations of the Federal Government,