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Lawmakers urge Obama to fill government watchdog vacancies

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging President Obama to quickly hire inspectors general at federal agencies where some of the watchdog positions have been left unfilled for years. 

"Many of these vacancies involve departments and agencies responsible for oversight of several of your Administration's most important initiatives," read the letter, which was signed by Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; and Robert Portman, R-Ohio; as well as Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.; Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; John Tierney, D-Mass.; and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. 

Inspectors general are responsible for weeding out waste and corruption in government agencies. There are IG positions open at State, Justice and Homeland Security, according to the letter.

Openings include a criminal investigator for Afghanistan reconstruction and a special investigator at the Central Intelligence Agency, according to a list of vacancies provided by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

"We have serious concerns that the lack of permanent inspectors general at so many federal agencies is impeding the federal government's efforts to increase efficiencies and prevent waste, fraud and abuse," the letter states. "With this concern in mind, we respectfully request that you move without delay to appoint qualified, experienced individuals to serve as inspectors general."