The Atlanta City Council’s Finance/Executive Committee voted to move forward on Friday with an ordinance to amend the city’s charter to create the Office of Inspector General. The vote comes in the wake of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issuing an executive order on Jan. 13 to create the oversight office.
The legislation establishes the roles and responsibilities of the office, creates a structure of governance, and requires the provision of funds necessary for facilities, equipment and staffing. The legislation, introduced by Councilmember Jennifer Ide and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Howard Shook and Marci Collier Overstreet, also gives the office subpoena power. The ordinance was approved on a 3-0 vote with three abstentions.
Following approval by the committee, the legislation will be considered by the Committee on Council on Tuesday, Jan. 21. If approved by the Committee on Council, the legislation will move on to consideration during the full council meeting Tuesday. As a charter amendment, the ordinance requires three reads and two adoptions by council. Tuesday’s vote by the full Council would be the second read and first adoption of the legislation.
“This is the most comprehensive, sweeping piece of government reform legislation for our city and it’s incredibly valuable,” Ide said in a statement. “We want to get it right and get committee members involved with a chance to review the legislation while still maintaining our deadline for final passage. It was important to deal with this issue independently and give Council members enough time to fully read and assess. With this legislation, we are providing an enforcement mechanism to ensure that all levels of city government, elected officials and everyone that does business with the city are held to the highest standards. It also ensures there will be consequences under the law to those who do not meet those standards.”