Isabel Cumming: Baltimore's IG on the Mission, and the New Mandate | WYPR

Isabel Cumming: Baltimore's IG on the Mission, and the New Mandate

Nov 26, 2018

Isabel Cumming is the first woman to head Baltimore City's OIG.
Credit Photo courtesy OIG

During their campaigning for the November mid-term elections, current office holders and wanna-be office holders often cited government "waste, fraud and abuse" as the trifecta they would address if elected -- a promise that was often followed by a pledge to fund new or existing programs with the massive savings citizens would enjoy when the waste was ferreted out. 

Tom's guest for the hour today is in charge of identifying and exposing wasteful spending -- and other forms of serious misconduct and mismanagement  -- by people who work for the city of Baltimore.  As of a couple of years ago, there were nearly 14,000 people employed by the city. 

Isabel Mercedes Cumming is one of them.  She was appointed to be the city's Inspector General in late January of this year, taking charge of an office that had been left vacant since September of 2016.    

Since then, IG Cumming has uncovered problems in the city’s pension system, the human resources department, and the health department, among others.  In the election earlier this month, voters overwhelmingly approved a change to the City Charter that would take the office of Inspector General out from under the purview of the Mayor, and make it completely independent. 

Isabel Mercedes Cumming joins Tom in Studio A to talk about the challenges of her job, and what the OIG's new powers and independence will mean in practice.  We take your calls as well.  The conversation was live-streamed on WYPR's Facebook page, and that video can be viewed here.

If you suspect or know of any waste, fraud or abuse occurring in your Baltimore City agency, here's the number to reach the  OIG's confidential Fraud Hotline:   443-984-3476