Inspectors General: Enhancing Federal Accountability

GAO-04-117T Published: Oct 08, 2003. Publicly Released: Oct 08, 2003.
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Highlights

On the 25th anniversary of passage of the Inspector General (IG) Act, Congress sought GAO's views on the role of the IGs in providing independent oversight within federal agencies and to discuss the new and continuing challenges faced by government performance and accountability professionals.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
In order to enhance the effectiveness and impact of the federal accountability community, Congress may want to consider establishing, through statute, assignment of responsibility to a selected group of designated federal accountability officials, such as representatives from GAO, the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, and the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency, to develop and implement a periodic, formal strategic planning and ongoing engagement coordination process for focusing GAO and IG work to provide oversight to high-risk areas and significant management challenges across government, while leveraging each other's work and minimizing duplication.
Closed – Not Implemented
The IG Act has been updated since this report was issued. The revised IG Act did not address this issue. We are closing this issue as circumstances may have changed.
In order to resolve resource issues and provide positive incentives to agencies to take prudent actions to reduce overall audit costs, Congress may want to consider enacting legislation that makes agencies responsible for paying the cost of their financial statement audits.
Closed – Not Implemented
The IG Act has been updated since this report was issued. The revised IG Act did not address this issue. We are closing this issue as circumstances may have changed.
In order to achieve potential efficiencies and increased effectiveness across the federal IG community, Congress may also want to consider whether to proceed with a restructuring of the IG community, which could include amending the IG Act to elevate the IGs at the United States Postal Service, National Science Foundation, and Federal Reserve Board to presidential status.
Closed – Not Implemented
The IG Act has been updated since this report was issued. The revised IG Act did not address this issue. We are closing this issue as circumstances may have changed.
In order to achieve potential efficiencies and increased effectiveness across the federal IG community, Congress may also want to consider whether to proceed with a restructuring of the IG community, which could include amending the IG Act to consolidate agency-appointed IGs with presidentially appointed IGs based on related agency missions or where potential benefits to IG effectiveness can be shown.
Closed – Not Implemented
The IG Act has been updated since this report was issued. The revised IG Act did not address this issue. We are closing this issue as circumstances may have changed.
In order to achieve potential efficiencies and increased effectiveness across the federal IG community, Congress may also want to consider whether to proceed with a restructuring of the IG community, which could include establishing an IG council by statute that includes stated roles and responsibilities and designated funding sources.
Closed – Implemented
The IG Reform Act of 2008 amended the IG Act to provide a council of IGs established by statute.

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