Statement on Signing the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988
I have today signed S. 908, the "Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988." My Administration has had a long-standing and deep commitment to the work of the Inspectors General within the Executive branch. Their efforts to combat fraud, waste, and abuse deserve our sincere thanks and continued support.
I must, however, note that S. 908, like the Inspector General Act of 1978, raises certain constitutional concerns. Unless properly construed, the Act's reporting requirements could impermissibly interfere with the President's control over the deliberative processes of the Executive branch. For example, the disclosure of opposing views with respect to decisions at issue unnecessarily creates divisions within the Executive branch that could chill the frank exchange of views necessary to effective decisionmaking. Such requirements would conflict with the constitutional protection afforded the integrity and confidentiality of the internal deliberations of the Executive branch and the President's authority as head of the Executive branch to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed," U.S. Const., art. II, sec. 3, and to coordinate and supervise his subordinates. I have signed S. 908 with the understanding that it will be implemented consistent with these constitutional principles.
The White House,
October 18, 1988.
Note: S. 908, approved October 18, was assigned Public Law No. 100-504.
Ronald Reagan, Statement on Signing the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/253620