WASHINGTON -- President Obama has nominated a veteran investigator to be the next CIA inspector general, a crucial position that has remained vacant for more than a year.
David B. Buckley, a senior manager for Deloitte Consulting, will have to be confirmed by the Senate before he can fill the watchdog post charged with unearthing abuses inside the spy agency.
The nomination comes after months of congressional frustration with the White House about not putting forth for a candidate for the job. Several candidates had previously been mentioned but none made the cut.
Because the CIA's activities are mostly conducted in secrecy, the position is one of the most important at the agency. The government's inspectors general are charged with rooting out corruption, fraud and other abuses.
"It's great to see that the administration has finally nominated someone to serve as permanent IG at CIA, but it shouldn't have taken this long," said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight. "Given the recent history of abuse and misconduct, the CIA is clearly in need of independent and aggressive oversight. We hope Buckley is up to the task."
John Helgerson, the agency's previous inspector, stepped down in March 2009. His former deputy, Patricia A. Lewis, has run the office since then.
"The president's long overdue nomination of the next CIA watchdog is an important step in meeting this administration's pledge of transparency and oversight," Bond said Friday.
Buckley has a long history conducting investigations in the government. He has more than 30 years of experience working in the federal government. He has served as minority staff director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and chief investigator for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
He was also the special assistant for the inspector general at the Defense Department and special agent for the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations after eight years on active duty with the Air Force.
CIA Director Leon Panetta welcomed the choice of Buckley to head the inspector general's office, which he described as "a crucial link with our oversight committees in Congress."