Ten-Year Perspective on Federal Inspectors General

T-AFMD-88-16: Published: Aug 4, 1988. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 1988.

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GAO discussed the progress statutory Inspectors General (IG) have made in improving federal government operations and strengthening internal audit and investigative activities. GAO noted that IG: (1) saved the government over $100 billion over the past 10 years; (2) significantly decreased previous internal problems such as fragmented and underfunded audits, lack of audit independence, and lack of audit report and resolution procedures; (3) generally complied with standards regarding audit planning and staff qualifications; (4) need to improve project supervision, internal control testing, report clarity, and organizational planning; and (5) further strengthened their effectiveness through revised guidance on audit resolution, legislation requiring audits of agencies and state and local governments which receive federal funds, and establishment of a council to coordinate efforts to implement governmentwide fraud and waste prevention. GAO believes that the executive branch and Congress may wish to further strengthen federal audit and investigative activities by: (1) retaining effective IG during administration changes; (2) involving IG in developing IG candidate lists; (3) supporting the council's efforts; (4) ensuring IG emphasis on prevention of fraud and abuse; and (5) establishing IG at the Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Personnel Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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