Inspectors General:

Establishment of the National Science Foundation's Office of Inspector General

AFMD-90-15: Published: Apr 10, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 1990.


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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed: (1) whether the National Science Board was the appropriate designee to appoint and supervise the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Inspector General; (2) whether the Board's instructions to the Inspector General were consistent with the Inspector General Act, as amended; and (3) whether heads of agencies with presidentially appointed inspectors general had issued written supervisory instructions similar to those approved by the Board.

GAO found that: (1) despite earlier violations and inconsistencies in some sections of the Board's instructions, the revised instructions were consistent with the act and clarified the purposes of some of the instructions; (2) no similar written guidance existed for other presidentially appointed inspectors generals; and (3) the instructions' impact on the NSF Inspector General's independence and objectivity depended on their interpretation and implementation.

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