oversight

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

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-04-10.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                                     Report t,o the C&airman, Cornmitt;ee on
GAO                                  (:-ovwnrnent,al A f’f’airs, 1J.S. Senate


                        ,-^~___--_----
April   1WO
                                     INSPECTORS
                                     GENERAL
                                     Establishment of the
                                     National Science
                                     Foundation’s Office of
                                     Inspector General


                                                                   141200




<,AO,/AL1 MI)-90-l .5
 ‘        1
United States
General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548

Accounting and Financial
Management Division

B-236163

April lo,1990

The Honorable John Glenn
Chairman, Committee on Governmental Affairs
United States Senate

Dear Mr. Chairman:

The Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988 required the National
Science Foundation (NSF) to establish an Office of Inspector General (OIG)
and designated the National Science Board as the head of NSF for pur-
poses of the act. In response to your request, we reviewed whether the
Board is the appropriate designee to appoint and generally supervise the
newly created NSF inspector general (IG), and whether the Board’s reso-
lution establishing and providing instructions to the IG was consistent
with the IG act and 1988 amendments. We determined whether heads of
19 agencies with presidentially appointed IGS had issued written super-
visory instructions similar to those approved by the Board. We also con-
tacted seven presidentially appointed IGs to obtain their reactions to the
Board’s instructions.

Based on our review of the 1988 amendments and NSF’S enabling legisla-
tion, we believe the Board’s designation as the entity head required to
appoint and generally supervise the NSF IG was reasonable.

The NSF Board’s resolution establishing the agency’s OIG sets forth super-
visory instructions which define the IG’s relationships with the Board,
the Director, and the Congress. We found that (1) some sections of the
Board’s instructions violated or were inconsistent with the 1988 amend-
ments and the IG act and (2) other instructions could be interpreted and
implemented to restrict OIG activities. After our extensive discussions
with NSF Board members and staff, the Board revised the instructions.
We believe that the revised instructions are consistent with the IG act
and the 1988 amendments and clarify the purpose of some of the
instructions.

We found no evidence that heads of 19 agencies with presidentially
appointed IGS had issued similar written guidance. Generally, the roles
and responsibilities spelled out in the IG act have been accepted by the IG
community as sufficient guidance for the IGs. The Board told us that it
intended the supervisory instructions to serve as guidance for the OIG
when the Board was not in session. The current Board and the IG are
confident that the supervisory instructions will not be detrimental to the


Page 1                           GAO/~-90-15    National   Science Foundation   OIG




                                                                           ,I
             5236163




             OIG function. However, the instructions’ impact on the independence and
             objectivity of the OIG is dependent on their interpretation and
             implementation.

             In commenting on a draft of this report, the Chairman of the Board
             expressed the Board’s agreement with our principal conclusions. The
             Inspector General did not provide written comments; however, she did
             provide technical comments, which were incorporated where
             appropriate.


                 was established by the National Science Foundation Act of 1960 as
BAckground   NSF
             an independent agency of the executive branch. The act provides for a
             National Science Board, assigned the policy-making function, and a
 !           Director, assigned the administration of NSF. NSF'S primary purpose is to
 I           promote the progress of science and engineering through the support of
 /           research and education programs. For fiscal year 1989, NSF'S budget
 I           estimate was approximately $1.9 billion with a staff of about 1,200 full-
 I
             time equivalent employees.
 I
             The National Science Board is composed of 24 part-time members and
             the Director, an ex officio member. The members are appointed to 6-
             year terms by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
             The act provides that members be selected to represent the views of sci-
             entific and engineering leaders throughout the country. It also provides
             that members be selected on the basis of their distinguished service and
             eminence in the fields of basic, medical, or social sciences; engineering;
             agriculture; education; public affairs; or research management. The
             Board is required by statute to have a Chairman, Vice Chairman, and                     ’
             Executive Committee. It is authorized to appoint from among its mem-
             bers appropriate committees to assist in exercising the Board’s statutory
             authority and functions. Currently, the full Board meets approximately
             seven times a year and has established three standing committees and
             several task-oriented committees.

             The Director of NSF is also appointed to a 6-year term by the President
             with the advice and consent of the Senate and acts as NSF'S chief execu-
             tive officer. The Director is an ex officio, voting member of the Board
             and serves, by statute, as Chairman of its Executive Committee. The
             Director, in consultation with the Board, is responsible for formulating
             NSF'S programs according to the policies set by the Board and for
             administering NSF in accordance with the NSF act, other provisions of
             law, and the powers and duties delegated to the Director by the Board.


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                         B-236163




                        The initial objective of our review was to evaluate the organizational
Objedtives, Scope,and   placement of NSF'S newly mandated OIG to determine whether the
Methbdology
    /                   National Science Board was the appropriate designee to appoint and
    I                   generally supervise the IG. In subsequent discussions with your office,
    I                   we agreed to evaluate the Board’s resolution establishing NSF'S OIG to
    /
                        determine if the resolution was consistent with the IG act and the 1988
                        amendments. We were also asked to determine whether heads of agen-
                        cies with presidentially appointed IGS had issued supervisory instruc-
                        tions similar to those approved by the Board and to contact seven
                        presidentially appointed IGS to obtain their reactions to the Board’s
                        instructions.

                        Our work at NSF entailed extensive interviews with key NSF personnel to
                        obtain an overview of the organization and to gain a better understand-
                        ing of the roles and responsibilities of those significantly involved in the
                        audit and oversight functions. Our interviews included the Chairman
                        and Vice Chairman of the Board, the Chairman of the Board’s Commit-
                        tee on Audit and Oversight, the Director and Deputy Director of NSF, the
                        NSF Inspector General, the Director of NSF'S Office of Audit and Over-
                        sight, and officials of various staff offices.

                        We analyzed current and proposed policies for the auditing function at
                        NSF  and reviewed the Board’s resolution establishing its new OIG for con-
                        formity with the requirements of the IG act and the 1988 amendments.
                        However, because NSF'S OIG is a new office, we did not evaluate its effec-
                        tiveness or assess the oversight provided by a board that is not available
                        on a daily basis.

                        To determine whether heads of agencies with 19 presidentially
                        appointed IGS had issued written guidance for their IGS, we reviewed the
                        agencies’ implementing regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations
                        and contacted selected OIGS to determine whether additional regulations
                        or other guidance had been issued. In addition, we examined the IG act,
                        the 1988 amendments, and their legislative histories to determine
                        whether the National Science Board’s instructions to NSF'S IG complied
                        with the IG act and the 1988 amendments. We also provided copies of
                        the Board’s March 17, 1989, instructions to the IGS at the Departments
                        of Education, the Interior, Labor, Transportation, State, and Health and
                        Human Services, and at the General Services Administration to obtain
                        their reactions to the instructions.

                        We conducted our review from November 1988 to November 1989 in
                        accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. We


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                     B.235163




                     provided a draft of this report for comment to the Chairman of the
                     National Science Board and to the NSF IG.


                     The Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988 amended the IG Act of
                      1978 to create statutory IGS in 33 designated federal entities not previ-
                     ously covered by the 1978 act. The 1988 amendments contained provi-
                     sions specifically applicable to the 33 designated federal entities and
                     their IGS and also incorporated the provisions of the IG act governing the
                     duties, responsibilities, and authorities of the presidentially appointed
                     IGS. NSF is named as one of the 33 designated federal entities. The 1988
                     amendments designate the National Science Board as the entity head
                     required to appoint and generally supervise the NSF IG.

                     The 1988 amendments require that IGS in the designated federal entities
                     report to and be under the general supervision of the entity head.
                     Except for NSF and the United States Postal Service, the head of a desig-
                     nated federal entity is defined as the person or persons designated by
                     statute as the entity head or, if no such designation exists, the chief
                     policy-making officer or board as identified in a list published by the
                     Office of Management and Budget. The House Report on the 1988
                     amendments stated that for those entities headed by boards or commis-
                     sions, the head should be the highest ranking official or officials at the
                     policy-making level in the entity, rather than the chief executive
                     officer. l

                     NSF'S enabling legislation, the National Science Foundation Act of 1950,
                     does not designate a head for NSF. However, the legislation does assign
                     NSF'S policy-making function to the NSF Board and charges it with taking
                     an active role in developing NSF'S programs and operations. Thus, we
                     believe the Board’s designation as the entity head required to appoint
                     and generally supervise the NSF IG was reasonable.


                     Prior to the 1988 amendments, NSF'S audit function was performed by
The Board’s          its Office of Audit and Oversight (OAO), consisting of about 20 individu-
Resolution           als that reported to the Deputy Director on administrative matters and
Establishing NSF’s   to the Director on substantive issues. OAO also kept the Board fully
                     informed of its activities. Building on the existing organizational struc-
OjG                  ture, the Board approved a resolution on February 10,1989, redesignat-
          Y
                     ing OAO as NSF'S new Office of Inspector General. With the exception of a




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B-235163




program function and the four staff associated with it, all of 0~0’s
existing functions, duties, personnel, and other resources were trans-
ferred to the OIG.

In preparing to establish the OIG, the Board assigned one of its three
standing committees, the Committee on Audit and Oversight, to gener-
ally review the work of the OIG, receive routine reports from the IG, and
supervise preparation of reports to the Congress required from the
Board by the IG act. In its February resolution, the Board also designated
the chairman of this committee as the IG’S immediate supervisor and rat-
ing official for performance planning and appraisal. The resolution also
instructed the NSF Director to provide the IG with any information, assis-
tance, office space, equipment, or supplies that might be needed to dis-
charge the OIG’S responsibilities.

The Board’s February resolution establishing the OIG included “General
Supervisory Instructions for the NSF Inspector General,” which
instructed the IG (1) to carry out audits and investigations requested by
the Director and to respond to the Director’s priorities, except in cases
where the IG believes it would interfere with other statutory duties, and
(2) not to initiate contact with the Congress without prior approval,
except for providing statutorily required reports.

We discussed the Board’s instructions with NSF’S new IG. The IG received
the original instructions during her initial interview for the position and
reached agreement with the selection committee on what the Board
intended and how she proposed to implement each instruction. The IG
also reached agreement with the Director as to their respective roles and
responsibilities at NSF. The IG did not believe that the instructions would
impinge upon her ability to carry out any of her duties and
responsibilities.

We had concerns with the supervisory instructions, which we discussed
on several occasions with NSF Board members and staff during the
course of our review. The Board told us that it intended the supervisory
instructions to serve as guidance when the Board was not in session. We
informed the Board that we were not aware of any IGS having similar
written guidance from their agency heads, and that we believed the
instructions could impose restrictions on the IG’s ability to independently
and objectively manage the OIG. Specifically, we said that (1) some of the
Board’s instructions violated or were inconsistent with the 1988 amend-
ments and the IG act and (2) other instructions could be interpreted and
implemented to restrict OIG activities.


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B236163




The Board’s instructions governing the IG’S relationship to the NSF Direc-
tor violated the requirement in the 1988 amendments that the IG not
report to, or be subject to supervision by, any officer or employee other
than the head of the designated federal entity. Also, the instruction
requiring the IG not to initiate contact with the Congress without prior
approval was inconsistent with section 4(a)(5) of the IG act, which
requires the IG to keep the Congress fully and currently informed.

We were also concerned that certain instructions had the potential for
improperly restricting OIG activities, depending on how they were inter-
preted and implemented. For example, one of the instructions character-
ized the evaluation of scientific and technical merits of projects as the
exclusive function of NSF management without explicitly recognizing
any role for the OIG. While we agree that the judgment exercised in eval-
uating the scientific and technical merits of projects is normally outside
the purview of the OIG, the OIG may assess the process for making and
monitoring awards of scientific or technical projects to ensure compli-
ance with laws, regulations, and agency policies and procedures.

After our discussions with NSF Board members and staff about our con-
cerns, the Board revised its instructions on March 17,1989, and then
again on November 17, 1989. In its March revision of the instructions,
the Board added language from the IG act and the 1988 amendments
barring any NSF official from preventing or prohibiting the IG from initi-
ating, carrying out, or completing any audit or investigation and modi-
fied existing language in the instructions (e.g., changing “The Board
instructs” to “The Board expects”). (See appendix I for the complete
text of the original February 10, 1989, version and the March 17, 1989,
revisions.) We believe that the Board’s November revision of the instruc-
tions is consistent with the IG act and the 1988 amendments and clarifies
the purpose of some of the instructions. (See appendix II for the Novem-
ber 17, 1989, version.)

Although the Board has made revisions to the instructions, their impact
on the independence and objectivity of the OIG is dependent on how they
are interpreted and implemented. The Board and the IG are confident
that the supervisory instructions will not be detrimental to the OIG func-
tion. The current Board, Director, and IG have apparently begun their
association in an atmosphere of mutual understanding. However, this
relationship could change if for no other reasons than (1) every 2 years
one third of the Board members’ terms expire and new members are
appointed and (2) a new Director is appointed every 6 years. Thus, the



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                 B-236103




    I

                 interpretation and implementation of the instructions could change and
                 adversely impact the OIG function.


                 We found no evidence that heads of 19 agencies with presidentially
Presbdentially   appointed IGS had issued written guidance similar to the NSF instruc-
                 tions. At some agencies, directives or orders reiterating the IG'S authori-
                 ties, duties, and responsibilities as specified in the IG act were published
                 for the benefit of all agency personnel. At others, manuals developed by
                 the OIG included procedures on how the IG planned to keep the agency
Instfuctions     head and the Congress fully and completely informed.

                 During the course of our review, we spoke with seven presidentially
    1I           appointed 10s about NSF’S supervisory instructions. The seven IGS we
                 spoke to reviewed the March 17, 1989, version and were unanimous in
                 their judgments that the Board’s instructions were not in keeping with
                 what the Congress intended when it passed the IG act. They stated that
    ,            the tone and tenor of the instructions led them to conclude that the
                 Board intended to control the IG and to restrict the IG'S ability to freely
                 carry out the statutory duties and responsibilities of the office. By
                 imposing its wishes, the Board could severely limit the IG'S ability to
                 operate freely and independently, according to the IGS we interviewed.


                 Based on our review, we believe the 1988 amendment’s designation of
Conclusions      the Board as the entity head required to appoint and generally supervise
                 the NSF IG was reasonable. NSF has established an OIG and appointed its IG
                 as required by the 1988 amendments. However, our evaluation of the
                 Board’s resolution establishing its OIG raised legal concerns about its
                 “General Supervisory Instructions for the NSF Inspector General.” The
                 Board subsequently issued revised instructions which are consistent
                 with the IG act and the 1988 amendments and clarify the purpose of
                 some of the instructions.

                 We found that no similar written guidance exists for the presidentially
                 appointed IGS. Generally, the roles and responsibilities spelled out in the
                 IG act have been accepted by the IG community as sufficient guidance for
                 the IGs. The current Board and the IG are confident that the supervisory
                 instructions will not be detrimental to the OIG function. However, the
                 instructions’ impact on the independence and objectivity of the OIG is
                 dependent on their interpretation and implementation.




                 Page 7                            GAO/AFMDBO-16   National   Science Foundation   OIG



                                               .
                  B-285163




 I
                  We provided a draft of this report to the Chairman of the National Sci-
A ency Comments
 b                ence Board and to the NSF IG. The Chairman provided written comments
                  that stated the Board agreed with the principal conclusions in the draft
                  report. (See appendix III.) The Inspector General did not provide written
                  comments; however, she did provide technical comments, which were
                  incorporated where appropriate.

                  Unless you publicly announce the contents of this report, we will not
                  distribute copies until 16 days after it is issued. At that time we will
                  send copies to the Chairman of the National Science Board, the NSF
                  Inspector General, interested congressional committees, and other inter-
                  ested parties, Copies will also be made available to others upon request.

                  This report was prepared under the direction of John J. Adair, Director,
                  Audit Oversight and Policy Issues, who may be reached on (202) 275
                  9369 if you or your staff have any questions. Other major contributors
 /                are listed in appendix IV.

                  Sincerely yours,




                  Donald H. Chapin
                  Assistant Comptroller General




                  Page 8                           GAO/AFMD-90-16   National   Science Foundation   OIG
Page 9   GAO/AFMD-90-M   National   Science Foundation   OIG
(I&dents


Letter
Aipendix I
Thje National Science
Bo/ard’sOriginal
InStructions and
M&ch 17,1989,
Rekisions
  /
AE;)pendixII
THe National Science
Bo&d’s November 17,
1989, Instructions
AI)pendix III                                                                                             18
CoknmentsFrom the
Cfiairman of the
National Science
Board
Appendix IV                                                                                               20
Major Contributors to
This Report




                        Abbreviations

                        IG        inspector general
                        NSF       National Science Foundation
                        OAO       Office of Audit and Oversight
                        OIG       Office of Inspector General


                        Page 10                          GAO/AFMD-W-15   National   Science Foundation   OIG
Y




    Page 11   GAO/AFMD-90-M   National   Science Foundation   OIG
                                                                                                                          ,
Apiendix   I

The Nationall ScienceBoard’s Original
Irit&ructions and March 17,1989, Revisions


                       The following    is the text of the Board's original              February                   10,
               1989, instructions.         The revisions       made on March 17, 1989, are
               indicated    as follows:       underlined     text   (exclusive   of section
               headings)     indicates    deletions      made to the original      instructions,
               while bold text indicates           additions    to the original.
               "General      Supervisory          Instructions        for     the   NSF Inspector   General"
               Scope of responsibilities
               1. The responsibilities       of the NSF Inspector General shall                          be
               those established      by the Inspector General Act of 1978, as
               amended.
               2. There is an inevitable             overlap       of the functions        of the
               Inspector       General with management analysis                and program evaluation,
               and evaluation        of the scientific         or technical        merits of projects,
               which are generally         responsibilities           of NSF management.          Moreover,
               evaluation       of the scientific        and technical         merits    of projects     is
               exclusively       the function     of NSF management, aided by external
               scientifically        and technically        qualified       reviewers.      H",W;;&,w;;n
                in the course       of carrying     out    audits,     investigations,
               responsibilities         the Inspector       General comes across issues relating
               to management        of, or scientific        or technical         aspects of, programs
               or projects,        he or she is encouraged,            continuing      recent practice,
               to bring such issues to the attention                   of appropriate       NSF managers.
               Relations      with     National       Science      Board
               3. The Inspector  General and the                      Committee on Audit and Oversight
               (hereafter "the Committee") shall                      annually  review the proposed
               audit plan for the coming year.
               4. The Inspector     General shall  quarterly,    or as close to
               quarterly as the Committee's     meeting schedule permits,     inform                          the
               Committee concerning    work in progress     and review with the
               Committee proposed changes in plans.
               Independence          of the   Inspector          General
               5. Beither        the Board, the Director,     nor any other NSF official
               shall    prevent     or prohibit the Inspector    General from initiating,
               carrying      out, or completing    any audit or investigation,      or from
               issuing     any subpoena during the course       of any audit or
               investigation.
               6. The Inspector  General shall  inform the                          Committee about    any
               failure by anyone at NSF to cooperate   fully                         with any audit    or




                           Page12                                           GAO/AFMD-!WlBNationalScienceFoundationOIG
            Appendix I
            The NatIonal ScienceBoard’s original
            Inatructlona and March 17,1989,Revisions




investigation     or about    any attempt by anyone at NSF to interfere
with    or improperly   influence    any audit or investigation,   unless
the problem has been promptly         remedied by the Director   or other
NSF management.
Relations       with   Director
I.    The Board expects that the relationship      of the NSF Inspector
General with the NSF Director      will be similar   to the relationship
of other Federal inspectors     general  with the executive    heads of
their   departments  and agencies.
3. Specifically,        the Board instructs       expects the Inspector
General to carry out audits          and investigations          requested by the
Director     an& to respond to the Director’s             requests     for audits    and
~noestigations      and to the Director’s        priorities        in doing so as to
requeate or priorities         of the Board itself.           The Inspector      General
should inform the Board through          the Committee if the Inspector
General believes      that responding      to the Director's           requests   or
priorities     would interfere      with other statutory          duties.
9. The Board instructs              expects the Inspector        General to keep the
Director    fully     informed;       to meet with the Director        to discuss   the
work of the OIG whenever the Director                 requests    such a meeting;     and
to discuss      with the Director          as freely   as with any other member of
the Board audits,          investigations,       or other activities      undertaken     by
the Inspector       General,       unless the Director       himself   or herself,    or
someone   especially         close to the Director        is, or appears likely       to
be,  a subject      of an investigation.
Relations       with   the press
10. The Inspector    General should normally     exercise   his or her own
judgment in responding    to press inquiries,     but should report
contacts with the press as prescribed       or customary for other
senior NSF Office  heads.
11. The Board does not normally          expect the Inspector        General to
initiate      contacts   with the press.    In particular,       the Inspector
General should issue no press release without               approval   of either
the Director,        the Chairman of the Committee,        or the Chairman of
the Board.
Relations       with   Congress
12. The Board expects the Inspector            General to respond to
 requests   for information,      testimony,    or the like from cognizant
members, committees,        or staff    of Congress consistent    with the need
 for confidentiality      in the investigation       of certain cases.    The
Inspector    General shall     inform the Director      or the Director's
designee    and the Chairman of the Committee of such requests            and of
the response.




        Page 13                                    GAO/AFMD-90-15National sdence Foundation OIG
             Appendix I
             The National Science Board’s Orlginal
             Instructlone and March 17,1989,Revisions




i
     13. The Board does not normally               expect the Inspector           General to
     initiate    contacts    with members or staff           of Congresa, except as
    provided     in the statute        (semiannual    and other statutory           reports)
    or with approval       from either       the Director,        the Chairman of the
    Committee,     or the Chairman of the Board.                If, in the judgement         of
    the Inspector      General,       a matter is so exceptional             as to warrant
    consideration       of initiating       a Congressional         contact,    the Inspector
    General should discuss that judgerent                either      with the Director,       the
    Chairnan of the Committee,            or the Chairman of the Board.
    Resources
    14. Resource requirements         for the Office     of Inspector    General
    will    be included     in NSF budgets and operating      plans through normal
    allocation      procedures   and will  be reviewed annually       by the
    Cmittee.         The Inspector   General may at any time inform the
    Committee of concerns or requirements           with respect to resources.




            Page14                                      GAO/AF'MD-9615National Science Fouudation 010
Thk Nationti ScienceBoard’s November 17,
1989, Instructions


                                                                                                 NSB-89-54
                                  GENERAL SUPERVISORY INSTRUCTIONS
                                    FOR THE NSF INSPECTOR GENERAL
                               APPROVED BY THE NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD
                              AT ITS 286TH MEETING ON MARCH 17, 1989,
                              AND AS AMENDED AT THE NOVEMBER 17, 1989
                                   NSB EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

           Scope of responsibilities
           1.    The responsibilities          of the NSF Inspector   General shall                  be
                 those established          by the Inspector  General Act of 1978,                   as
                 amended.
           2.    There is an inevitable             overlap     of the audit and investigation
                 functions       of the Inspector         General with the program analysis
                 and evaluation           functions     of management.          Moreover,      though
                 evaluation        of the scientific        and technical           merits of projects
                 is exclusively           the function     of NSF management, aided by
                 external       scientifically       and technically           qualified      reviewers,
                 the Inspector          General's     responsibilities           include    reviewing     the
                 process by which the NSF makes and monitors                          awards.     When in
                 the course of carrying             out audits,        investigations,         or other IG
                 responsibilities            the Inspector      General comes across issues
                 relating      to scientific        or technical         aspects of programs or
                 projects,       she is encouraged,         continuing         recent practice,        to
                 bring such issues to the attention                    of appropriate         NSF
                 managers.
           Independence      of the     Inspector     General
           3.    Neither       the Board, the Director,     nor   any other NSF official
                 shall      prevent or prohibit     the Inspector    General from
                 initiating,       carrying   out, or completing     any audit or
                 investigation,        or from issuing    any subpoena during the course
                 of any audit or investigation.
           4.   The Inspector      General shall   inform the Committee about any
                failure     by anyone at NSF to cooperate      fully  with any audit or
                investigation       or about any attempt by anyone at NSF to
                interfere      with or improperly    influence   any audit or
                investigation,       unless the problem has been promptly     remedied
                by the Director       or other NSF management.




                   Page 16                                      GAO/AFMD-90-16    National   Science Foundation   OIG
             Appendix II
             The National Science Board’s November   17,
             lV89, Instructions




. Relations       with   National     Science    Board
 5.     The normal channels of communication     between the Inspector
        General and the Board are through the Board's Committee on
        Audit and Oversight   (hereafter   "the Committee")   when the Board
        is meeting and through either    the Chairman of the Committee,
        the Chairman of the Executive    Committee (the NSF Director),    or
        the Chairman of the Board, as appropriate,      between meetings.
 6.     The Board normally          expects the Inspector       General to respond
        to its requests        for audits   or investigations       and to its
        priorities.      If the Inspector      General believes       that an audit
        or investigation         requested  by the Board would improperly
        interfere     with other audits       or investigations       or should not
        be performed       for other reasons,      the Board expects the
        Inspector     General to so inform the Board and to discuss the
        issue with the Committee and, if necessary,                with the Board.
 7.     The Inspector         General and the Committee shall               annually      review
        the proposed         audit plan for the coming year.
 8.     The Inspector    General shall   quarterly, or as close to
        quarterly   as the Committee's    meeting schedule permits, inform
        the Committee concerning     work in process and review with the
        Committee proposed changes in plans.
 Relations        with   Director
 9.     The Board expects that the Inspector          General and the Director
        will  normally   be able to agree on audits         and investigations
        the Inspector    General will   conduct to satisfy       the Director's
        requests   and meet the Director's     priorities.        If the Inspector
        General and the Director      cannot agree in a particular           case,
        the disagreement    shall  be immediately       reported    and explained
        to the Board.
 10.    The Board expects the Inspector      General to meet regularly
        with the Director    and to discuss    with the Director      as freely
        as with any other member of the Board audits,         investigations,
        or other activities    undertaken   by the Inspector     General,
        unless the Director    himself   or herself,   or someone especially
        close to the Director     is, or appears likely    to be, a subject
        of an investigation.
 Relations       with    Congress
 11.   The Inspector      General has a duty to keep the Congress, as
       well as the Board, fully          and currently     informed,    both by
       statutory     reports   and otherwise.        However, the Board expects
       the Inspector      General to report        to the Congress through the
       Board, as is specifically          prescribed     by law in the case of
       statutory     reports.     This is not intended        to prevent the
       Inspector     General from freely        responding    to proper
       congressional      requests    for information,       briefings,   testimony,
       or the like.       Those requests      and responses normally        should be




         Page 16                                      GAO/AFMD-90-16   National   Science Foundation   OIG
                                                                                    .-
        Appendix II
        The National Science Board’s November   17,
        1989, Instructlone




      reported      to the agency in the same way           as any other   staff
      contacts      with the Congress,  and should          be reported  to and
      discussed       with the Board if important.
Relations    with    the Press
12.   The Inspector   General should normally      exercise   his or her own
      judgment in responding     to press inquiries,      but contacts with
      the press should be reported      to the agency in the same way as
      any other staff   contacts   with the press, and should be
      reported  to the Board if important.
13.   The Board      does not normally   expect the Inspector    General to
      initiate      contacts  with the press.     In particular,  the
      Inspector      General should issue no press releases      without
      approval      of either  the Chairman of the Committee, the
      Chairman      of the Executive   Committee,   or the Chairman of the
      Board.
Resources
14.   Resource requirements      for the Office  of Inspector    General
      will   be included   in NSF budgets and operating     plans through
      normal allocation     procedures  and will   be reviewed annually   by
      the Committee.      The Inspector  General may at any time inform
      the Committee     of concerns or requirements    with respect to
      resources.




        Page 17                                  GAO/AFMD-90-16   National   Science Foundation   OIG
Apiendix   III

Comments From the Chairman of the National
S&enceBoard

  +



                                                     NATIONAL          SCIENCE BOARD
                                                          \,.\stII\c.Io\   ,I c l,l;‘il




                                                             February        16, 1990



                     Donald H. Chapin
                     Assistant   Comptroller      General
                     General Accounting      Office
                     Washington,   DC 20548
                     Dear Mr. Chapin:
                     Thenk you for inviting            our review and comment on your draft
                     report-entitled          Inspe&ors    General:      Establishment of National
                     Science Foundation's           Office   of Inspector     General
                     (GAO/AFMD-90-15).            The National    Science Board agrees with the
                     principal       conclusions     in the draft     report.
                     Having the Board appoint    and supervise   the Inspector    General is
                     appropriate  and also workable.     Unlike most other Boards and
                     Commissions designated   as agency heads under the recent
                     Amendments, the Board meets only intermittently.          It also has a
                     large and changing membership.      However, we have found ways to
                     work with these circumstances    that seem quite acceptable.
                     One of those ways was to provide                the Inspector     General (and
                     therefore       the various      Board members who interact         with her) clear
                     written      instructions.        We obviously     agree with GAO's conclusion
                     that those instructions            as now formulated       are consistent     with the
                     Inspector       General Act.       The Board was persuaded that its original
                     instructions         were consistent     with the Act, but worked with GAO
                     staff     to satisfy       their  concerns while still        accomplishing    our
                     intent.        That process was undoubtedly           educational     for both sides
                     and came to a satisfactory             conclusion.
                     Finally,    we also agree that the proof of the pudding will                       be in
                     the actual     "interpretation         and implementation"         -- in
                     performance.        That would surely         be true,    by the way, with or
                     without   written      instructions.        The instructions         serve a useful,
                     but secondary,       function      of helping     to ensure that everyone is
                     working   from the same set of basic expectations.                      As you know,
                     the arrangements         for inspectors       general with statutory
                     independence,       but nonetheless       part of Executive          Branch agencies
                     and subject      to supervision       by their      heads, require       a careful
                     balance and common understanding               among all parties         (especially
                     with the added complexity            of a full-time       executive      and part-time
                     Board).     We have worked hard, by the instructions                    and otherwise,
                     to achieve balance and understanding                 at this agency -- thus far
                 Y
                     with good results.




                            Page 18                                      GAO/AFMD-90-15   National   Science Foundation   OIG
          Appendix III
          Comments From the Chajrmau    of the
          National Science Board




                                                                                  Page 2




    Indeed, we hope you will       agree that the Foundation         has thus far
    implemented   the Act swiftly,      thoroughly,     and thoughtfully.       I
    suspect problems with "interpretation            and implementation"     are
    leea likely   to arise in future       where the tensions      inherent   in the
    IG arrangements   have bean recognized          and dealt with than where
    the issues remain dormant.
    Thank you again      for   the opportunity    to comment.




                                         Ma& L. Good
                                           Chairman




Y




          Page 19                                GAO/AFMDM-15   National   Science Foundation   OIG
 Aphndix   IV

 Major Contributors to This Report


       I

                        Marsha L. Boals, Assistant Director, (202) 276-8646
Awounting and           Charles W. Woodward, III, Evaluator-in-Charge
FhiUlCid  Management    Lynda E. Downing, Accountant
Division, Washington,
DC.

                        Jeffrey A. Jacobson, Assistant General Counsel
Ofrice of the General
Cdunsel




(ellsae)                Page 20                         GAO/AFMD-90-M   National   Science Foundation   OIG