Remarks on Receiving the First Consolidated Report on the Inspectors General Program

July 9, 1981

Mr. Harper. Mr. President, we're pleased to present this, the first consolidated report of the Inspectors General, to you this morning. And, as I mentioned, we're going to be having a press briefing in a few minutes with other members of the press to tell them about your plans for the program, the commitments that you've made. And then these three Inspectors General are going to be telling the press about specific projects we've undertaken to improve the effectiveness of the Inspector General program.

We appreciate your interest.

The President. Well, you have more than my interest; you have my support and enthusiastic backing in this. I think it is high time. We've spoken of this over a period of time -- going clear back to the campaign -- of fraud, waste, and abuse. And I never was in sympathy with the way one department in government, some time ago, eliminated fraud, waste, and abuse. As I understand it, they called a staff meeting and said they would no longer use those words. They would now call it mismanagement and something else. [Laughter] Therefore, fraud, waste, and abuse disappeared.

But this is the way to go at it, and you sure do have our backing, and go get them.

Mr. Harper. Thank you very much, Mr. President. We know you have a very busy schedule, and we've got to get over to our meeting with the press. Thank you for your time.

The President. Well, thank you for what you're doing.

Note: The exchange began at 9:43 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. Edwin L. Harper is Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Also attending the meeting were Thomas F. McBride, Inspector General of the Department of Labor, Joseph P. Welsch, Inspector General-designate of the Department of Transportation, and Paul R. Boucher, Inspector General of the Small Business Administration.