State Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown, who is pushing for more independent inspectors general, said it helps to have them embedded in agencies so they're familiar with how things work but said inspectors general should report to someone outside the agency.
"I have serious concerns about whether or not an inspector general can actually do their job when they have to answer to or pass things through the agency which they're supposed to be having oversight of," Gattis said.
Gattis and fellow Central Texas House members Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, and Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, were among several lawmakers who tried last year to give more independence to offices of inspector general.
"Clearly, there was opposition from the agencies," Dukes said. They will always "have concerns that you're going to have a new sheriff that's going to come to town."
Opponents of creating a state office of inspector general say the state auditor's office performs many of the same functions.
Inspectors general are typically in the executive branch of state government; a state auditor is in the legislative branch.
"There is probably a turf battle between what does an (office of inspector general) do to what does our auditor do," Gattis said. "It's really a different function."
Gattis put it this way: getting investigated by the state auditor's office is like a visit from your accountant. An inspector general investigation "is more like the Texas Rangers walking in."
Melinda Miguel, Florida's chief inspector general, said she and the state's auditor general avoid duplicating each other's work.
"I find it works very well," she said.
Video of today's hearing is archived here.
UPDATE: The Statesman's editorial board weighs in on the subject.