Review Groups Not Located in the Offices of Statutory Inspectors General

AFMD-85-36: Published: Feb 5, 1985. Publicly Released: Feb 5, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO studied the management review offices of the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to determine if these offices are interfering with or duplicating the work of agency inspectors general (IG).

GAO found that problems had existed concerning investigative authority in the GSA Office of Oversight within the Office of Policy and Management Systems; however, GSA revised the functions of this office to eliminate investigative responsibilities. GAO found that approximately 40 people in the GSA Office of Policy and Management Systems were involved in activities similar to auditing. In reviewing these activities, GAO found a potential for duplication of IG efforts and IG officials identified 16 completed IG audits and 12 ongoing IG audits concerning the same topics as Office of Oversight reviews. Both groups have begun efforts to improve coordination of their activities. Some apparent duplication may have been caused by the use of the Office of Oversight review staff to analyze situations that require a fast response and the use of the IG office to conduct in-depth reviews. HHS has recently completed the transfer of a number of audit and investigative functions to the IG office as a result of an internal study to identify overlap and duplication. The transfer involved 189 positions from the Social Security Administration and 182 positions from the Health Care Financing Administration. The proposed transfer of 118 positions from the Office of Child Support and Enforcement was legislatively deleted. HHS IG officials are also concerned about certain types of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) criminal investigations; however, FDA reported that these investigations are closely linked to its program responsibilities.

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