In his report, Miller said the Treasury Office of General Counsel and the Treasury inspector general did not feel his office had the authority to oversee the two pandemic relief programs, and so denied access to “mission-critical” data and declined to partner with Miller’s office.
“The consequence is permanently reduced oversight of these programs,” Miller wrote of the OLC opinion.
CNN has reached out to the White House and the Treasury Department for comment.
Because of the OLC’s determination, Miller said, his office will have to “discontinue many ongoing oversight efforts and transfer others, including criminal investigations and leads.”
“SIGPR’s jurisdiction has come to be viewed narrowly, not expansively, and my only conclusion is that ‘things are not working well,’ ” he said.
Miller called on lawmakers to pass legislation to “clarify” his office’s mandate to provide oversight of the Treasury’s pandemic-related programs.
The $2.2 trillion stimulus package, the CARES Act, last year created several overlapping oversight entities, including the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery within the Treasury Department, to keep tabs on spending.
The special inspector general was tasked with auditing and investigating the loans, loan guarantees and other investments made by the Treasury secretary for some of the stimulus bill’s programs.
The legislation also instructs the special inspector general to provide quarterly reports to Congress summarizing its activities and an up-to-date accounting of the loans and other transactions.
Miller also previously served as General Services Administration inspector general during the Bush and Obama administrations.
CNN’s Jason Hoffman, Jeremy Herb and Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.