The WSJ is Crazy for IG’s

A rash of stories today in The Wall Street Journal about inspector-general reports on government agencies caught my eye this morning. That’s nice because all too often these watchdogs don’t get enough play in the press.

It writes about an FAA IG report that questions $1.1 billion in stimulus funds for airports, including $28 million for a couple of small Alaska airports to nowhere (JFK only gets $15 million).

It also reports that the Health and Human Services IG is investigating the FDA’s head of drug research and evaluation for a conflict of interest. That’s apparently a scoop and the paper slots it on B1.

In April 2008, after the tainted-heparin article was published, an investment report from Morgan Stanley cited Momenta’s FDA connection as a “game-changer,” and Momenta’s stock jumped 17% in a day.

And the paper reports on a New York IG’s report on corruption on New York’s waterfront commission that’s supposed to fight corruption. I’m not exactly sure why Wall Street Journal readers outside New York need to read this story, but hey, there it is.

These are pretty straightforward news stories that don’t take much time or effort (with the possible exception of the FDA piece), but it’s nice that the paper is keeping a close eye on the regulators and their government agencies.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.