At a rare subject matter hearing on Monday morning, the Better Government Association urged members of the Chicago City Council to act on legislation that would strengthen its internal oversight.

Speaking on two pending ordinances, BGA Policy Associate Alexandra Gilewicz testified to the need to enhance the independence and effectiveness of the internal watchdog responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct within the City Council. The BGA strongly supports a pending ordinance that would put City Council under the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), an office that provides oversight to the rest of City government. Currently, Council oversight is situated in a separate and much weaker office, that of the Legislative Inspector General, that is widely understood to have too few resources and too little authority to do its job.

Gilewicz highlighted BGA research that indicates Chicago is unique in this bifurcated oversight model.

Another pending ordinance would maintain a separate IG office for the City Council, but would eliminate some of the provisions that have been impediments to effective oversight of City Council members and their staffs.

The BGA strongly prefers one centralized IG office for all of City government, but recognizes that the alternative proposal that strengthens somewhat the current LIG office suggests important steps away from the untenable status quo.

Audio courtesy of A.D. Quig / Aldertrack.

Read Gilewicz’s full testimony below: