Senator-elect James Skoufis announced he has been assigned Chairman of the Investigations and Government Operations Committee for the 2019-2020 legislative session. The committee is tasked with oversight of state actions, including the proactive investigation of waste, fraud, and abuse; its subpoena power may be employed to compel unwilling witnesses to appear before the committee for examination under oath. The committee also has legislative jurisdiction over bills pertaining to the operation of local and state government as well as the authority to evaluate the Governor’s nominations to boards, commissions, and councils within the committee’s purview.
“New Yorkers from every corner of the state are rightfully frustrated with a state government that’s non-transparent and unresponsive to the basic needs of people. It’s about time that changed,” said Skoufis. “I’m extremely grateful to incoming Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for providing me the opportunity to hold government accountable to the people it’s supposed to serve. I intend to use the position to ensure every official and every agency at every level of the state is doing right by New Yorkers.”
In 2017, the Investigations and Government Operations Committee established a whistleblower portal for people to report fraud and abuse within an organization or agency; a whistleblower’s personal information is kept in strict confidence. Skoufis pledged to expand the portal’s reach in an effort to root out any corruption that exists within the committee’s purview.
Skoufis concluded, “I look forward to serving alongside my new Senate colleagues and expect our committee to be very active both legislatively and with investigations. There’s a lot of work to do.”