(Washington, DC) - Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, cancelled tomorrow's scheduled subpoena meeting concerning the investigation of NASA Inspector General (IG) Robert Cobb after reaching agreement with the President's Commission on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) to provide to the Subcommittee the requested report on Cobb by April 2, 2007.
Since November 2006, the House Science and Technology Committee has attempted to obtain a report and briefing on the PCIE's investigation of NASA's IG after allegations of misconduct by the inspector general were made in November of 2005.
Allegations against Cobb include changing conclusions in IG reports at the request of the agency, derailing investigations and reducing safety audits. Career employees in his own office raised questions about Cobb's independence as an investigator - accusing him of lunching, drinking, playing golf and traveling with former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, another White House appointee.
"If these allegations are true, this has crippled the effectiveness of the Inspector General in ways that could contribute to not only more waste, fraud and abuse but also impact the safety of the human space flight program," said Chairman Miller. "It is critical that this investigation be completed immediately, and that the Committee obtains the requested documents to see whether additional actions need to be taken."
Both of these goals have been achieved under the agreement with the Committee outlined in the attached letter from Clay Johnson, PCIE Chairman, after pressure from the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee succeeded in forcing the PCIE to commit to a rapid conclusion to this case.
"NASA, the Congress and the taxpayers will be the beneficiaries," Chairman Miller added.
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