A Look at the Air Force Inspector General's Inspection System

FGMSD-79-51: Published: Aug 28, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 1979.

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Until November 1978, GAO was denied access to inspection reports and supporting documentation of the Air Force Inspector General's office. At that time, the Department of Defense adopted a new policy which permitted the release of such reports to GAO. Inspection reports of the Air Force Inspector General provide valuable information, but the reports can be improved by developing more information on the underlying causes of problems disclosed during inspection and by reducing the number of non-mission-related findings.

The Inspection system could be strengthened by reducing the high turnover of top-level inspection officials, replacing some military inspectors with civilians, and by giving the Inspector General more influence over the operations of command-level inspectors general. Overinspection continues to be a problem within the Air Force due to the large number of inspector general reviews, staff assistance visits, and self-inspection being performed. Duplication of inspection effort is not a problem at the Headquarters Inspector General level because of the coordination of inspection with the audits of the Air Force Audit Agency. However, duplication does occur between command-level inspector general reviews and other groups' evaluations.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should: issue directives to command-level inspectors general requiring that future management effectiveness inspection reports identify the underlying causes of problems and that the reporting of minor deficiencies be reduced; issue directives to command-level inspectors general requiring them to implement needed improvements suggested by the Headquarters Inspector General; stabilize the top management of the system by requiring top military inspector general personnel to complete their tours of duty and by having civilians back up these personnel to promote continuity; require that more civilians be used throughout the inspection system to the greatest extent possible; expand the present staffing study on Air Force-wide inspection standards to include an analysis of the possibility of using more temporary inspectors and fewer full-time inspectors; and direct that the duplication occurring between inspector general reviews, self-inspections, and other inspection be reduced.

    Agency Affected:


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