Inspectors General:

Action Needed to Strengthen OIGs at Designated Federal Entities

AIMD-94-39: Published: Nov 30, 1993. Publicly Released: Dec 30, 1993.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

David L. Clark, Jr
(202) 512-9489
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on 34 designated federal entities' (DFE) Offices of Inspectors General (OIG), focusing on OIG: (1) progress in implementing inspector general (IG) legislation; and (2) ability to ensure audit coverage of DFE programs and operations.

GAO found that: (1) an independent and reliable OIG structure is needed to ensure that DFE receive adequate audit coverage of their programs and operations; (2) during the last 3 years, the 34 DFE have successfully implemented IG legislation, established IG audit and investigation policies and procedures, developed working relationships with DFE heads, and reported potential recoveries, cost efficiencies, civil fines, and forfeitures; (3) several problems have occurred as a result of the implementation of IG legislation, including prohibited supervision of IG officials, questionable budget apportionment for IG activities, and improper notification, dismissal, and transfer of IG personnel; (4) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has published guidance to strengthen the IG selection process and two DFE have used the guidance to select qualified and independent IGs; and (5) IG could not ensure effective audit coverage of their entities' programs and operations because they do not have effective strategic plans that link DFE risks and problems with audit strategies, the resources necessary to implement audit strategies, and performance measures to evaluate IG progress.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: 15 of 34 IGs now have strategic plans. These plans allow the IGs to better assess risks, prioritize their work, select audit strategies, justify required resources, and identify desired outcomes and timeframes. The remaining IGs will complete their strategic plans by the end of fiscal year 1996.

    Recommendation: To improve the effectiveness of the OIG at the designated federal entities, the Inspectors General at those entities should develop strategic plans which assess their respective entities' risks and problems, describe the strategies for resolving the risks and problems, detail the OIG resources required and available to implement their strategies, and provide performance measures to evaluate their progress.

    Agency Affected: Government-Wide

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: 15 of 34 IGs now have strategic plans. The plans generally cover 3 to 5 years.

    Recommendation: To improve the effectiveness of the OIG at the designated federal entities, the Inspectors General at those entities should prepare their strategic plans for a 5-year period and update them at least every 3 years.

    Agency Affected: Government-Wide

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Not all IGs who have completed strategic plans have included the plans in semiannual reports to Congress.

    Recommendation: To improve the effectiveness of the OIG at the designated federal entities, the Inspectors General at those entities should report their strategic plans and updates to their entity heads, OMB, and Congress in the first semiannual report issued in each fiscal year.

    Agency Affected: Government-Wide

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 21, 2016

Aug 3, 2016

Aug 1, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 5, 2016

Jun 30, 2016

Jun 28, 2016

Jun 23, 2016

Jun 22, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here