oversight

Inspectors General: Information on Operational and Staffing Issues

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-01-04.

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

                 United States General Accounting Office

GAO              Report to Congressional Requesters




January 1999
                 INSPECTORS
                 GENERAL
                 Information on
                 Operational and
                 Staffing Issues




GAO/AIMD-99-29
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Accounting and Information
      Management Division

      B-281356

      January 4, 1999

      The Honorable Dan Burton
      Chairman
      Committee on Government Reform and Oversight
      House of Representatives

      The Honorable Stephen Horn
      Chairman, Subcommittee on Government Management,
        Information and Technology
      Committee on Government Reform and Oversight
      House of Representatives

      The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
      Chairman
      Special Committee on Aging
      United States Senate

      This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Inspector General Act of 1978,
      the basic authority governing statutory offices of inspector general (IG),
      and the 10th anniversary of the Inspector General Act Amendments of
      1988, which extended the IGs’ basic reporting requirements and
      established IG offices in additional government organizations. The
      Inspector General Act of 1978, Public Law 95-452, as amended, identified
      26 federal establishments that are to have IGs appointed by the President
      with Senate confirmation and 29 designated federal entities (DFE)1 that are
      to have IGs appointed by the agency head. The IG for the Central
      Intelligence Agency, who is also appointed by the President with Senate
      confirmation, was established under its own statute, Public Law 101-193.2
      Further, in July 1998, as part of the legislation restructuring the Internal
      Revenue Service (Public Law 105-206), a Treasury Inspector General for
      Tax Administration was established. This IG is to be appointed by the
      President and confirmed by the Senate. As of December 11, 1998, this
      position had not yet been filled.

      This letter responds to your request that we survey IGs to obtain
      (1) information on their organizational structure, staffing, and workload

      1
       The IG for the Government Printing Office (GPO) was established by Public Law 100-504, which also
      established the DFE IGs, and has similar duties and responsibilities as a DFE IG. Therefore, for
      purposes of this report, the term “designated federal entity” includes the 29 organizations and GPO.
      2
       Appendix I provides additional background information on the establishment of the IGs and the types
      of work they perform. Appendix II lists the presidentially appointed IGs and appendix III lists the DFE
      IGs.



      Page 1                                                          GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                   B-281356




                   and (2) their views on current policy issues affecting them. To obtain the
                   requested information, we developed and sent two questionnaires to the
                   573 statutorily established IGs—27 appointed by the President and
                   confirmed by the Senate and 30 appointed by the heads of DFEs. Responses
                   were received from 564 of the 57 IGs. We did not independently verify the
                   information the IGs provided.

                   We performed our review between April 1998 and December 1998 in
                   accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. We
                   requested comments on a draft of this report from the Office of
                   Management and Budget’s (OMB) Acting Deputy Director for Management,
                   the Chairman of the Integrity Committee,5 and all 57 IGs. On December 10,
                   1998, and December 14, 1998, respectively, we received oral comments
                   from the Integrity Committee and OMB that are discussed in the “Agency
                   Comments” section. The Vice Chair of the President’s Council on Integrity
                   and Efficiency (PCIE) and the Vice Chair of the Executive Council on
                   Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE) provided written comments consolidating
                   the comments of presidential and DFE IGs, respectively. These comments
                   are discussed in the “Agency Comments” section and are reprinted in
                   appendixes VIII and IX, respectively. Appendix IV provides further details
                   on our objectives, scope, and methodology.


                   IGs’work covers a broad spectrum of agency programs and operations. In
Results in Brief   general, the IGs responded that they have the expertise and resources
                   necessary to assemble the teams of staff needed to perform the major
                   types of work for which they are responsible. Additionally, while they
                   generally anticipate the level of work to remain the same or slightly
                   increase across the range of areas they review, IGs anticipated the greatest
                   increase to be in information technology reviews. IGs also indicated that
                   they were generally satisfied with their role and the overall legislation
                   governing them, but did identify certain potential areas for modification,
                   which are discussed in detail in the policy issues section of this report.




                   3
                    The questionnaires were not sent to the Treasury IG for Tax Administration because the position was
                   not established until July 22, 1998, which is after the date the questionnaires were sent.
                   4
                   The Office of the Inspector General for the Central Intelligence Agency did not respond and therefore
                   was not included in our survey results.
                   5
                    The Integrity Committee is responsible for receiving, reviewing, and referring for investigation
                   allegations of wrongdoing against certain staff members of the IG offices.


                   Page 2                                                          GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                         B-281356




                         We sent a questionnaire to all 57 IGs to obtain information on IG
Profile of the Offices   organization structure, staffing, and workload. The following series of 11
of the Inspector         questions and answers provide an overall profile of the 56 IGs who
General                  responded. More specifically, information is provided that relates to the
                         IGs’ budget obligations, number and classification of staff by occupational
                         job series, career background and years of experience of the current IGs,
                         and techniques used by IGs to help ensure the quality of the work.

                         1. What were the IG budget obligations for fiscal year 1997?

                         For fiscal year 1997, IG reported obligations totaled $957 million. Of the
                         reported amount, about $912 million (95 percent) was for the presidential
                         IGs and $45 million (5 percent) was for the DFE IGs. Figure 1 shows how
                         these funds were distributed among the various types of work performed
                         by the IGs. The largest single use of the funds for the presidential and DFE
                         IGs was for auditing—financial and performance. For the presidential IGs,
                         about 46 percent of the funds was devoted to auditing; similarly, DFE IGs
                         spent about 47 percent of the funding on auditing.




                         Page 3                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                        B-281356




Figure 1: Reported IG Obligations by
the Type of Work Performed for Fiscal   Percent of obligations
Year 1997                                                                                      31
                                        30                     29 29
                                                                                                               27

                                        25



                                        20                                                          19
                                                    18
                                               17

                                        15

                                                                                                          11
                                        10
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                                                                   Designated federal entity IGs



                                        Note: The percentages are based on reported obligations of $912 million for presidential and
                                        $45 million for DFE IGs. The percentages do not total 100 percent due to rounding.




                                        2. How many and what types of staff were employed by the IGs as of
                                        September 30, 1997?

                                        In fiscal year 1997, the IGs stated that they had a total of 9,348 staff of
                                        which 8,818 staff (94 percent) worked in presidential IG offices and 530
                                        (6 percent) worked in DFE IG offices. As shown in figure 2, these staff are
                                        classified in various types of occupational job series. The largest group of
                                        the IGs’ staff (45 percent) are auditors, with the next largest
                                        group—26 percent—being investigators. Figure 3 provides a breakdown of
                                        the occupational job series held by the presidential and DFE IG staff. The



                                        Page 4                                                                                     GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




reported distribution of the staff among the various occupations is
proportionately about the same for both the presidential and DFE IGs.




Page 5                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                         B-281356




Figure 2: Reported Distribution of the
IG Staff Occupations                                                                           Investigator

                                                                                               7%
                                                                                               Other


                                                           •



                                              • 26%
                                                                          45% •                Auditor




                                                  11%
                                                    •          •




                                                                                               2%
                                                                                               Attorney

                                                                                               7%
                                                                                               Analyst

                                                                                               Administrative

                                                                                               2%
                                                                                               Computer specialist




                                         Notes: (1) The investigator category includes all of the investigative job series—1800, 1801, 1810,
                                         and 1811. (2) The analyst category includes management, program, and other analysts. (3) The
                                         percentages are based on 9,348 staff.




                                         Page 6                                                          GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                     B-281356




Figure 3: Reported Breakdown of IG
Staff by Occupational Job Series     Percent of staff
                                                 49

                                           45
                                     45

                                     40

                                     35

                                     30
                                                                                                                        27

                                     25

                                     20                                                                                       18
                                                                                             15
                                     15
                                                                                       11
                                     10
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                                     Notes: (1) The percentages are based on 8,818 presidential IG staff and 530 DFE IG staff. The
                                     investigator category includes all of the investigative job series—1800, 1801, 1810, and 1811.
                                     (2) The analyst category includes management, program, and other analysts.




                                     3. What percentage of IG staff hold advanced degrees?

                                     As shown in figure 4, the most common advanced degree cited for both
                                     the presidential and DFE IG staff was a master’s degree in business
                                     administration. Five percent of presidential IG staff and 9 percent of DFE IG
                                     staff hold this degree. The next most common advanced degree cited
                                     among the IG staff was a Doctor of Jurisprudence for DFEs. The other
                                     master’s and doctorate categories that were also significantly represented




                                     Page 7                                                                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                       B-281356




                                       included such diverse areas such as finance, geography, psychology, and
                                       English. An individual could have more than one advanced degree.


Figure 4: Reported Types of Advanced
Degrees Held by IG Staff               10    Percent of staff
                                                            9




                                                                                                                 7


                                                                                                                                      6


                                                        5
                                        5



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                                       Notes: (1) The percent is based on the 1,426 advanced degrees held by 8,818 presidential IG
                                       staff and the 165 advanced degrees held by 530 DFE IG staff. An individual could have more
                                       than one advanced degree. (2) Zero percent means that there are some, but that less than
                                       1 percent of the staff have advanced degrees in the two categories—computer science and other
                                       doctorate.




                                       4. What percentage of IG staff hold professional certifications?

                                       As shown in figure 5, the survey results indicate the Certified Public
                                       Accountant certification as the largest category for both presidential and




                                       Page 8                                                           GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                         B-281356




                                         DFE IG staff. About 14 percent of presidential IG staff and 20 percent of the
                                         DFE IG staff were shown to have this certification. The next largest
                                         category for presidential IG staff was Certified Government Financial
                                         Manager. The second highest certification for the DFE IG staff was for a
                                         Certified Fraud Examiner. Some individuals had more than one
                                         certification.


Figure 5: Reported Certifications Held
by IG Staff                              Percent of staff
                                                                                                             20
                                         20




                                         15
                                                                                                        14




                                         10
                                                            9
                                                   8
                                                                                     7
                                                                 6
                                               5                          5
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                                         Notes: (1) The percent is based on the 2,935 certifications held by 8,818 presidential IG staff and
                                         the 245 certifications held by 530 DFE IG staff. An individual could have more than one
                                         certification. (2) Zero percent means that there are some, but that less than 1 percent of the staff
                                         are certified management accountants.




                                         Page 9                                                                   GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




5. What types of positions are in IG offices?

The IG Act requires presidential IGs to have an Assistant IG for Auditing and
an Assistant IG for Investigations. As shown in figure 6, all of the
presidential IGs reported that they have both positions. Although the other
positions are not required by statute, 89 percent of the presidential IGs also
have a Deputy IG and 92 percent have a Legal Counsel within the IG’s
office.

On the other hand, DFE IGs are not required to have an Assistant IG for
Auditing or Investigations. However, approximately 70 percent have an
Assistant IG for Auditing and about 47 percent have an Assistant IG for
Investigations. Further, the survey results showed that about 60 percent of
the DFE IGs have a legal counsel within the IG’s office.




Page 10                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                        B-281356




Figure 6: Reported Types of Positions
in IG Offices                           Percent of IGs
                                                                     100         100
                                        100
                                                                                                                               92
                                                   89
                                         90

                                         80
                                                                            70
                                         70
                                                                                                        62
                                                                                                                                     60
                                         60

                                         50                                              47
                                                                                              42
                                         40
                                                                                                                                            35
                                                                                                                 31
                                         30               27

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                                         20
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                                                                      Designated federal entity IGs



                                        Note: At the Department of Labor and the Small Business Administration, the Assistant IG for
                                        Management also provides legal counsel.




                                        6. What are the career backgrounds and years of experience of the
                                        current presidential IGs?

                                        The IG Act states that an IG should have demonstrated ability in
                                        accounting, auditing, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public
                                        administration, or investigations. As shown in figure 7, the reported
                                        backgrounds of the 19 presidential IGs in office at the time of our survey
                                        cover these disciplines. Fourteen of the presidential IGs noted that they
                                        have backgrounds in more than one discipline, with two IGs having




                                        Page 11                                                                            GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                  B-281356




                                  backgrounds in seven disciplines. Investigations, at 63 percent, is the
                                  predominant background overall for the presidential IGs. Public
                                  Administration at 47 percent and law at 42 percent are the next highest.

                                  Before becoming an IG in their current agency, the presidential IGs had 6 to
                                  32 years of experience in various positions mostly in management,
                                  IG-related positions, or investigations. Nine of the IGs were investigators
                                  and three had been IGs in other agencies.


Figure 7: Reported Career
                                                                                                                    63
Backgrounds of Presidential IGs          Percent of presidential IGs
                                  60

                                  55

                                  50
                                                                                                       47
                                  45
                                                                         42
                                  40

                                  35
                                                   32                               32
                                  30
                                                                   26                                                     26
                                  25
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                                  20

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                                  Note: This figure is based on 19 presidential IGs in office at the time of our survey. The
                                  percentages total more than 100 percent because some have experience in more than one
                                  category.




                                  Page 12                                                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




7. What are the career backgrounds and years of experience of the
current DFE IGs?

As with the presidential IGs, the reported background of the 28 DFE IGs in
office at the time of our survey cover each of the disciplines in the IG Act.
Twenty of the DFE IGs indicated that they have backgrounds in more than
one discipline, with one having a background in six disciplines. As
indicated by figure 8, auditing, at 61 percent, is the predominant
background for the DFE IGs. This is almost double the percentage for
presidential IGs. Management analyst, at 43 percent, is the next highest
discipline among the DFE IGs. Compared to the presidential IGs, fewer DFE
IGs—21 percent to 63 percent—have investigative backgrounds.


The DFE IGs had 1 to 29 years of experience in various positions such as
management, IG-related positions, or investigations before becoming an IG
in their current agency. Many of the DFE IGs were previously auditors.




Page 13                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                             B-281356




Figure 8: Reported Career
Backgrounds of the DFE IGs   Percent of DFE IGs
                                              61
                             60

                             55

                             50

                             45                                               43

                             40

                             35
                                       32
                             30                                    29

                             25
                                                                                                            21
                             20                               18                                                  18

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                             Note: This figure is based on 28 filled DFE IG positions. The percentages total more than
                             100 percent because some have experience in more than one category.




                             8. How many years have the IGs been in their current IG positions?

                             As of June 1998, according to the survey results, 70 percent of the IGs in
                             filled positions had been an IG in their agency for 3 or more years. DFE IGs
                             tended to be in their positions for a longer period of time, with 15 DFE IGs
                             having 6 to 10 years as the IG in their respective agency. As indicated in
                             figure 9, the majority (68 percent) of the presidential IGs had 3 to 5 years in
                             office. The IG at the General Services Administration had the most time as
                             an IG at the same agency, being in the position for almost 13 years.




                             Page 14                                                                      GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                        B-281356




Figure 9: Reported Number of Years in
the IG Position                         Number of IGs
                                                                                                    15
                                        15

                                                                     13




                                                      10
                                        10




                                         5
                                             4

                                                                                3



                                                                                           1                     1

                                                                                                                             0
                                         0

                                                 0 to 2 years          3 to 5 years            6 to 10 years         11 to 13 years



                                                           Presidential IGs

                                                           Designated federal entity IGs



                                        Note: This figure is based on the 19 presidential and 28 DFE IGs in office at the time of our
                                        survey.




                                        Page 15                                                                GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                   B-281356




                                   9. How many IG positions are vacant and what is the length of time
                                   that the vacancy has existed?

                                   As of June 1998, nine IG positions were vacant. As shown in figure 10,
                                   seven of these were presidential IG positions and two were DFE IG
                                   positions. They had been vacant from a period of 1 to 17 months. It is not
                                   unusual to have vacant IG positions. In March 1990, we reported6 10 vacant
                                   IG positions. Eight of these were presidential IGs and two were DFE IGs.


Figure 10: Reported Number of IG
Positions Filled and Vacant        Number of IGs
                                                                 28



                                   25



                                   20      19




                                   15



                                   10

                                                    7

                                       5

                                                                          2

                                       0

                                            Presidential IGs      Designated
                                                                  federal entity
                                                                  IGs



                                                        Filled

                                                        Vacant




                                   10. Do the IGs believe they have the ability to perform the work
                                   they are responsible for?

                                   The type of work IGs are required to perform covers a broad spectrum of
                                   agency programs and operations ranging from financial and performance

                                   6
                                   Inspectors General: Information on Vacancies and Previous Experience (GAO/AFMD-90-64FS,
                                   March 7, 1990).



                                   Page 16                                                   GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




audits7 to information technology reviews to investigations. Appendix I
provides a more detailed description of the various types of work
performed by IGs. With such diverse work, IGs need the ability to establish
multi-disciplinary teams to perform these various reviews. A key element
of the IGs’ ability to assemble teams is the capability to obtain contractors
and/or consultants, as needed.

IGs responded that, in general, they have the ability to assemble teams to
perform their work. The degree of ability varies somewhat, depending on
the type of work. On average, IGs—presidential and DFE—stated that they
have a great to very great ability to assemble teams for financial audits,
inspections, and performance audits. IGs responded that they have a
moderate to great ability to assemble teams for information technology,
economic analysis, and statistical analysis and some to little ability to
assemble teams for actuarial analysis. IGs also noted that they have the
ability to assemble teams for criminal investigations. The presidential IGs
stated that they have a very great ability to assemble teams for criminal
investigations whereas, the DFE IGs stated that they have a great ability to
assemble such teams.

Generally, the IGs said they do not use contractors and/or consultants for
most of their work. The presidential IGs use them to a moderate extent for
financial statement audits and to some extent for financial-related,
computer security and actuarial work. DFE IGs use contractors and/or
consultants to a great extent for financial statement audits and to some
extent for financial-related, economy and efficiency audits, computer
security, other information technology work, and statistical analysis.
Contractors and/or consultants, on average, are used to a little or no
extent for most other types of work such as program audits, inspections,
investigations, Year 2000,8 Clinger-Cohen Act,9 or economic analysis.




7
 Financial audits include financial statement and financial related audits. Performance audits include
economy and efficiency and program audits and program evaluations.
8
 Year 2000 computer system problems result from the inability of computer programs at the year 2000
to interpret the correct century from a recorded or calculated date having only two digits to indicate
the year. Unless corrected, computer systems could malfunction or produce incorrect information
when the year 2000 is encountered during automated data processing.
9
 Clinger-Cohen Act encourages federal agencies to evaluate and adopt best management and
acquisition practices, and requires agencies to base decisions about information technology
investments on quantitative and qualitative factors, and to use performance data to demonstrate how
the information technology expenditures support improvements to agency programs.



Page 17                                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




11. How do the IGs ensure the quality of their work?

The IGs responded that they use various means to ensure the quality of
their work, such as external quality control reviews and established
policies and procedures. Generally accepted government auditing
standards10 (GAGAS) guide auditors in auditing various types of
organizations. These standards require audit organizations conducting
audits in accordance with these standards to have an external quality
control review every 3 years. Such reviews are commonly referred to as
peer reviews and typically cover both financial and performance audits.
The peer review, typically performed by an IG in another agency,
determines whether the organization’s internal quality control system is in
place and operating effectively. These reviews are intended to provide
reasonable assurance that established policies and procedures and
applicable auditing standards are being followed. Figure 11 provides
information on the number of peer reviews completed over the past few
years.




10
  Generally accepted government auditing standards are issued by the Comptroller General of the
United States in the Government Auditing Standards, 1994 revision. IGs are required to follow these
standards in their audit work.



Page 18                                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                      B-281356




Figure 11: Reported Year Covered by
the Last Peer Review                  Number of IGs
                                           17



                                      15




                                      10

                                                                               8                     8
                                                      7                                                             7


                                                                                                           5
                                       5


                                                                    2
                                                                                          1                                  1
                                                                                                                                        0
                                       0

                                             1997                       1996                  1995             Other years       No peer review



                                                          Presidential IGs

                                                          Designated federal entity IGs



                                      Note: Peer review only applies to the IG audit function.




                                      At the time of our survey, all IGs had received peer reviews except the
                                      Social Security Administration, which was established as an independent
                                      agency in March 1995 and, therefore, had not yet been required to have a
                                      review. As shown in figure 12, most of the IGs (47) received unqualified
                                      opinions11 meaning that, for the period of time covered by the peer review,
                                      their system of quality control for the audit function complied with
                                      established quality standards. Six received qualified opinions, meaning
                                      that except for the deficiencies identified and reported by the peer
                                      reviewers, the IG’s system of quality control was in conformance with
                                      established quality standards. Two IGs received adverse opinions.12 This
                                      means that their system of quality control had significant deficiencies and

                                      11
                                       An unqualified opinion means that there was reasonable assurance that the policies and procedures
                                      were in place and that the generally accepted government auditing standards were being followed.
                                      12
                                       In commenting on our draft report, one of the IGs that had received an adverse opinion
                                      acknowledged receiving a qualified opinion on the most recent peer review.



                                      Page 19                                                            GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                      B-281356




                                      in effect had not been designed and/or implemented in accordance with
                                      established quality standards. As a result, there were not reasonable
                                      assurances that the audits were conducted in accordance with prescribed
                                      standards.


Figure 12: Reported Type of Opinion
the IGs Received on Their Last Peer   100   Number of IGs
Review
                                       90

                                       80

                                       70

                                       60

                                       50

                                       40

                                       30          26
                                            21
                                       20

                                       10
                                                                  4
                                                                            2                   2             1
                                                                                        0                              0
                                        0

                                              Unqualified             Qualified             Adverse opinion       No peer review
                                              opinion                 opinion



                                                        Presidential IGs

                                                        Designated federal entity IGs



                                      Note: Peer review only applies to the IG audit function.




                                      About 80 percent of the IGs stated that the peer review process is working
                                      to ensure adequate quality control to a moderate or greater extent. They
                                      had mixed views, however, on changing the current process. About
                                      54 percent of the IGs favored changing the process, while about 45 percent
                                      did not favor changing the process. The nature and extent of the work
                                      performed by peer reviewers and the frequency of the reviews were the
                                      most common types of changes suggested.




                                      Page 20                                                             GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




Standard methodologies can also be used as a tool to help ensure quality
control. The presidential IGs reported that they used standard
methodologies for virtually all of their work related to financial audits,
inspections, and investigations. They noted that standard methodologies
were used less frequently for information technology work and
performance audits. From an overall perspective, the DFE IGs used
standard methodologies to a lesser extent. For example, about 80 percent
of the DFE IGs reported that they used a standard methodology for financial
audits and investigations. For other types of work such as inspections and
information technology, a standard methodology was used less often by
the DFE IGs than the presidential IGs. The IGs reported that for most of their
work the standard methodologies they used were primarily developed
in-house. Methodologies used for financial statement audits and some
information technology work were primarily developed by other federal
agencies. Figure 13 shows the use of standard methodologies for the
various types of work performed by the IGs.




Page 21                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                                                         B-281356




Figure 13: Reported IG Use of Standard Methodologies

Percent of agencies
        100                                           100
100                  96                                                   96
                                          94
                                                                                                                                                                                                         90
 90                                                                                                                                     88
                               82                                                     83                                                                                 83
               81                                                                                                        81
                                                                  79                                                                                                                    79
 80
                                                                                           73
                                                                                                                                                        71
                                                                                                      69                                     68
 70
                                               63
                                                                                                                                                                                60                  60
 60                                                                                              56           57              57

 50
                                                                                                                                                              40
 40
                                                                                                                                                                                                              33
 30

 20

 10

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                    Presidential IGs

                    Designated federal entity IGs




                                                                         Training is another area that can be used to help ensure that a viable
                                                                         quality control system has been put into place. GAGAS requires IG staff
                                                                         performing financial and performance audits to receive a minimum of 80
                                                                         hours of continuing education and training every 2 years. According to the
                                                                         IG responses, as of December 31, 1997, almost all IG staff had met the
                                                                         requirement, with the range being between 95 percent and 100 percent. A
                                                                         similar training requirement exists for the inspection staff. PCIE’s Quality
                                                                         Standards for Inspections requires that each inspector receive 40 hours of
                                                                         continuing education and training every 2 years. According to the IGs’
                                                                         responses, on average, 94 percent of the staff had met this requirement as
                                                                         of December 31, 1997. Further, IGs noted that, on average, 98 percent of




                                                                         Page 22                                                                              GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




the criminal investigative staff, which is under job series 1811, had
completed the entry level training as defined by PCIE Quality Standards for
Investigations.

Having established procedures in place is another means that IGs have for
ensuring quality control. Over 92 percent of the IGs noted that they have
procedures in place for performing financial and performance audits and
investigations. Further, 86 percent of the IGs stated that they have
procedures in place for conducting inspections. A smaller percentage of
the IGs, however, have procedures in place for information technology
work. The survey responses showed that 76 percent had procedures in
place for Year 2000 work, 69 percent for computer security work, and
57 percent for Clinger-Cohen Act related work.

IGs have various other types of procedures to help ensure the quality of
their work. These procedures include supervisory reviews, internal
reviews of reports prior to issuance, agency comments, peer reviews, and
referencing. Most of these procedures involve an independent review of
the audit plan, the supporting workpapers, and/or the report by individuals
external to the staff performing the audit or inspection work. For example,
referencing is a quality control process whereby a professionally
competent and independent individual traces facts, figures, and dates from
draft products to the supporting workpapers. This process is intended to
ensure that sufficient credible evidence exists to support the conclusions
and recommendations made in the report.

These procedures are used to varying degrees for financial and
performance audits and their inspection and investigative work. Almost all
of the IGs indicated that they use supervisory reviews and internal reviews
of all reports prior to issuance for their audits and inspection work.
Agency comments is another procedure that is heavily used for both audits
and inspections. In addition, as discussed earlier, external quality control
reviews, which are required for audit work but not inspections, are also
known as peer reviews, and are used by over 90 percent of the IGs for their
financial and performance audit work, but less often (32 percent) for
inspections. Figures 14 and 15 show the use of quality assurance
procedures for audits and inspections by the presidential and DFE IGs,
respectively. In regard to investigations, figure 16 shows that both
presidential and DFE IGs primarily use supervisory reviews as their main
control procedure.




Page 23                                       GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                                                          B-281356




Figure 14: Reported Presidential IG Use of Quality Assurance Procedures for Audits and Inspections

Percent
                100               100 100 100        100 100              100 100 100                                     100 100 100                                 100 100         100 100
100        96
                      93
 90
                                                                                                                                                85 85

 80

                                                                                             69
 70                                                                                                                                                        67

                                                               60
 60

 50                                                                                                                                                                                             47
                                                                                                      42
                                                                                                           40
 40

 30                                                                                                                                                                                                  27

                                                                                                                                                                                20                        19
 20

 10                                                                                                                                                                                                            7

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                           Financial audits

                           Performance audits

                           Inspections




                                                                          Page 24                                                                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                                                            B-281356




Figure 15: Reported DFE IG Use of Quality Assurance Procedures for Audits and Inspections

Percent
                                 100 100 100                               100
100                                                                              97
                                                                                      95
                                                                                                                                   93                                   93               93 93
                                                                                                                                                                              90
 90
                                                                                                                             83
                79                                        79 79                                                                         79
 80
                                                    72
           69                                                                                                                                                                                    68
 70
                     63
 60

 50
                                                                                                                                                             42                    42
 40

 30                                                                                                                                                     28
                                                                                                              26
                                                                                                                                                   24

 20                                                                                                                                                                                                   17       16
                                                                                                         14

 10                                                                                             7                                                                                                          7

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                                                                            Page 25                                                                                          GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                        B-281356




Figure 16: Reported IG Use of Quality
Assurance Procedures for                Percent
Investigations                                     100
                                        100              96
                                                                                 92
                                                                                                              89
                                         90

                                         80

                                         70

                                         60
                                                                                                                          50
                                         50                                                                         46
                                                                      43
                                                                                       39                                       39    39
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                                                                    Designated federal entity IGs



                                        Note: This figure is based on 26 presidential and 28 of the 30 DFE IGs.



                                        As requested, we sent a questionnaire to all 57 IGs to obtain their views on
IGs’ Views on Current                   current policy issues affecting them. These issues include law enforcement
Policy Issues                           authority, the semiannual report, the 7-day letter, independence, and the
                                        effectiveness of PCIE, ECIE, and the Integrity Committee. These issues were
                                        identified through discussions with congressional staff and review of
                                        congressional testimonies and other publications such as those issued by
                                        the Congressional Research Service. Since the IGs’ responses were
                                        anonymous, we were unable to follow up and obtain additional
                                        information or clarification. The following nine questions and answers
                                        summarize the views of the 56 IGs who responded to this questionnaire.




                                        Page 26                                                                                      GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




1. What type of law enforcement authority do the IGs think they
should be granted on a permanent basis?

Currently, law enforcement authorities have not been granted to IGs
across-the-board in public law. The IGs that have law enforcement
authorities have acquired them through transfers from preexisting offices,
specific statutory grants, delegation by the agency head, or special
deputation by the Department of Justice. The special deputation can be
granted on a case-by-case basis that is limited to the scope and duration of
a case or by a blanket authority that covers a broader scope and is
renewed after a period of time, as specified in the memorandum of
understanding with Justice. In general, the law enforcement authority
provided to the IGs in performing investigations include serving arrest
warrants, making arrests without warrants, carrying firearms, and serving
search warrants. Figure 17 identifies the various types of law enforcement
actions that IGs can currently take.




Page 27                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                   B-281356




Figure 17: Reported Type of Law
Enforcement Actions IGs Can Take   Percent of IGs
                                          89                              89          89

                                                          81
                                   80

                                   70
                                                 63                                        63
                                                                               60
                                   60

                                   50                           47


                                   40

                                   30

                                   20                                                           19
                                                                                                               17

                                                                                                     10
                                   10                                                                                         7
                                                                                                          4              4

                                    0
                                         wa rrest
                                               nt


                                                       wa hout
                                                               nt



                                                                           s



                                                                                      rra h
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                                                          Presidential IGs

                                                          Designated federal entity IGs



                                   Note: This figure is based on 26 presidential and 30 DFE IGs. Percentages do not add to 100
                                   because more than one type of authority could have been checked.




                                   Most presidential IGs (81 percent) indicated that they had blanket
                                   authority granted by the Department of Justice. Most DFE IGs (60 percent)
                                   indicated that they did not have law enforcement authority but could
                                   obtain assistance from other IGs or Justice, if needed. Only three
                                   presidential IGs and one DFE IG had statutory law enforcement authority. A
                                   few IGs (5) had case-by-case authority granted by Justice.

                                   Figure 18 identifies the type of law enforcement authority the IGs currently
                                   desire. Most IGs—81 percent of the presidential and 57 percent of the
                                   DFEs—responded that they should have statutory law enforcement




                                   Page 28                                                                           GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                        B-281356




                                        authority. In addition, 77 percent of the presidential and 53 percent of the
                                        DFEs stated that blanket authority should be indefinite, unless a problem
                                        occurs. On a related issue, a majority—58 percent of the presidential and
                                        60 percent of the DFEs—indicated that they should have testimonial
                                        subpoena authority.


Figure 18: Reported Type of Law
Enforcement Authority the IGs Believe   100   Percent of IGs
They Should Have
                                         90
                                              81
                                         80                           77

                                         70

                                         60            57
                                                                                53
                                         50

                                         40

                                         30

                                         20

                                         10

                                          0

                                                Statutory               Indefinite
                                                authority               blanket
                                                                        authority



                                                            Presidential IGs

                                                            Designated federal entity IGs




                                        2. What are IG views on the usefulness of the 7-day letter?

                                        Section 5(d) of the IG Act, as amended, requires IGs to report immediately
                                        to the agency head whenever the IG becomes aware of “particularly serious
                                        or flagrant problems, abuses, or deficiencies relating to the administration
                                        of programs or operations.” The agency head, in turn, is to transmit the IG
                                        report, with the agency head’s comments, to the appropriate committees
                                        or subcommittees of the Congress within 7 calendar days. This is referred
                                        to as the 7-day letter.




                                        Page 29                                             GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




The survey responses indicated that none of the IGs had used the 7-day
letter during the period January 1, 1990, to April 30, 1998. Earlier surveys
have shown that the 7-day letter had been used on occasion by some IGs.
For example, a survey conducted by the Inspections and Special Reviews
Committee of PCIE in June 1986, and updated in 1989, showed that the
7-day letter had been used on 10 occasions, by seven IGs.

Although a 7-day letter has not been issued in recent years, the IGs noted
that it is a useful mechanism to encourage agencies to comply with the IGs’
requests. A 10-year review of the IG Act by the House Committee on
Government Operations13 found that the IGs viewed the use of the 7-day
letter as a last resort to attempt to force appropriate action by the agency.
Our survey responses indicated that the IGs continue to view the 7-day
letter useful as a tool. Twelve of the 22 presidential IGs and 20 of the 24 DFE
IGs that responded to the question find it useful to a great or very great
extent. Three IGs specifically stated that the threat of a 7-day letter gets
immediate results. Another IG responded that it had threatened the use of
the letter twice and in each instance the agency responded to the IG’s
request. Figure 19 provides the IGs’ views on the usefulness of the 7-day
letter.




13
 The Inspector General Act of 1978: A 10-Year Review, House Committee on Government Operations,
H.R. Rep. No. 100-1027, October 3, 1988.



Page 30                                                    GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                      B-281356




Figure 19: Reported IG Views on the
Usefulness of the 7-Day Letter        Percent
                                           41
                                      40


                                      35
                                                                            33


                                      30               29


                                      25
                                                                                         23


                                      20
                                                                                                 17

                                      15                           14                                                           14
                                                                                                                                        13


                                      10                                                                      9
                                                                                                                       8


                                       5


                                       0

                                                Very great           Great extent         Moderate extent         Some extent    Little or no
                                                extent                                                                           extent



                                                         Presidential IGs

                                                         Designated federal entity IGs



                                      Note: This figure is based on 22 of 26 presidential IGs and 24 of 30 DFE IGs. Four presidential
                                      IGs and six DFE IGs responded that they had no basis to judge. Percentages do not add to
                                      100 percent due to rounding.




                                      3. In the opinion of the IGs, should the current requirement for the
                                      preparation of a semiannual report be modified, replaced, or
                                      eliminated?

                                      Section 5(a) of the IG Act requires that each IG issue a semiannual report to
                                      the Congress and agency management. The IG Act outlines 12 specific
                                      areas that are to be covered by each semiannual report, which are listed in
                                      appendix V. Overall, the IGs responded that most of the reporting
                                      requirements should remain. However, the following three requirements
                                      were the most frequently cited as needing change. The percent of IGs
                                      favoring each change is shown parenthetically.




                                      Page 31                                                               GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
    B-281356




•   Audits identifying questioned costs14 and funds to be put to better use15
    (39 percent)
•   Statistical tables of questioned costs (55 percent)
•   Statistical tables of funds to be put to better use (57 percent)

    While there was support for some changes to the reporting requirements,
    only one IG supported elimination of the report and eight IGs suggested
    substituting another document for the semiannual report, such as the
    agency’s accountability report or an annual performance report.

    Thirty-five IGs stated that the reporting requirement should be changed
    from semiannual to annual. Further, the presidential IGs indicated that the
    semiannual report is at least moderately useful to the Congress, OMB,
    agency heads, and program managers. The DFE IGs noted that the report is
    of great use to the Congress, OMB, and agency heads and of moderate use
    to program managers.

    4. Do the IGs generally believe that they have sufficient
    independence in the performance of their work?

    The independence of the IGs is central to the success of the IG concept.
    Each IG reports to and is under the general supervision of the agency head
    or in the case of a presidential IG, the official next in rank, to the extent
    delegated. However, these individuals, with a few specified exceptions,
    cannot prevent or prohibit the IG from initiating, carrying out, or
    completing any audit or investigation or from issuing any subpoena during
    the course of any audit or investigation. Under the IG Act, as amended, the
    heads of three Departments—Defense, Justice, and Treasury—may
    prevent the IG in his or her department from initiating or proceeding with
    an audit or investigation in order to prevent disclosure of information
    relating to national security, on-going criminal investigations, and other
    matters outlined in the IG Act. If the department heads take this action, the
    IG Act provides for written notification to the House Committee on
    Government Reform and Oversight, the Senate Committee on
    Governmental Affairs, and other specified committees and subcommittees.
    Similar exceptions are provided for the Central Intelligence Agency and
    the Federal Reserve Board. In addition, the IGs are required to follow



    14
     Questioned costs arise because the IG believes that there has been (1) an alleged violation of a
    provision, (2) inadequate documentation of costs, and/or (3) unnecessary expenditure of funds.
    15
     This refers to agency funds that could be used more efficiently if agency management implemented
    IG recommendations.



    Page 32                                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




GAGAS,which require IGs and individual auditors to be free from personal
and external impairments to independence.

As shown in figure 20, the survey results indicated that 81 percent of the
presidential IGs and 73 percent of the DFE IGs responded that they have the
level of independence needed to accomplish their mission. On the other
hand, 15 percent of the presidential and 27 percent of the DFE IGs indicated
that they do not have sufficient independence, but they did not identify
specific areas in which they felt their independence was being
compromised. The IGs did suggest some options for enhancing
independence. The most frequently cited option was to allow IGs to submit
their budget request directly to OMB and the Congress rather than going
through the agency review process. Other suggestions included ensuring
that the removal of an IG is only for cause, clarifying the general
supervision clause of the IG Act, and establishing term limits. Since these
responses were part of the anonymous questionnaire, we were unable to
obtain more specific information.




Page 33                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                      B-281356




Figure 20: Reported Extent to Which
the IGs Believe That They Have        Percent of IGs
Sufficient Independence                    81
                                      80
                                                       73
                                      70


                                      60


                                      50


                                      40


                                      30                                   27


                                      20
                                                                  15

                                      10
                                                                                        4
                                                                                                  0
                                       0

                                             Yes                    No                      No response



                                                        Presidential IGs

                                                        Designated federal entity IGs



                                      Note: This figure is based on 26 presidential and 30 DFE IGs.




                                      5. What are IG views regarding term limits and the process for
                                      identifying potential IG candidates?

                                      In recent hearings16 questions have been raised as to whether or not the
                                      IGs should have term limits. Term limits would mandate that IGs have a
                                      fixed period of time that they could serve as IG at their respective agency.
                                      The IGs’ survey responses indicate that while the IGs had varying views on
                                      this issue, neither the presidential IGs nor the DFE IGs favored term limits
                                      for their particular group. Their perception of the impact of term limits
                                      also varies. Some view it as enhancing independence, while others view it




                                      16
                                       Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology, House Committee on
                                      Government Reform and Oversight, April 21, 1998, and Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs,
                                      September 9, 1998.



                                      Page 34                                                             GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
    B-281356




    as inhibiting independence. The following provides a breakdown of the
    responses.17

    Of the Presidential IGs,

•   39 percent favored term limits for presidential IGs,
•   35 percent favored term limits for DFE IGs,
•   58 percent did not favor term limits for presidential IGs, and
•   31 percent did not favor term limits for DFE IGs.

    Of the DFE IGs,

•   40 percent favored term limits for presidential IGs,
•   37 percent favored term limits for DFE IGs,
•   47 percent did not favor term limits for presidential IGs, and
•   57 percent did not favor term limits for DFE IGs.

    Another key IG issue is the process for identifying potential IG candidates.
    We asked the IGs for their views on establishing a list of potential
    candidates that could be used as a source when vacancies occur. The
    survey responses showed that the presidential and DFE IGs have different
    views on establishing a list of potential IG candidates. Fifty percent of the
    presidential IGs were of the opinion that a list should be established for all
    IGs, while 35 percent were not in favor of establishing any type of list, and
    8 percent believed a list should be developed for only presidential IGs. In
    regard to the DFE IGs, 50 percent did not want any list established, while
    33 percent favored the establishment of a list for all IGs, and 10 percent
    indicated other ways of identifying candidates, such as open competition,
    establishment of an IG candidate development program, and the creation
    of a board. However, when asked who should develop the list, there was
    general agreement that, if such a list was established, it should be
    developed by PCIE, ECIE, and OMB.

    6. In the opinion of the IGs, are changes needed in the
    organizational structure of the DFE IGs?

    The Congress enacted the Inspector General Act Amendments of 198818 to
    establish statutory IGs at 3319 DFEs. The amendments provided for the

    17
      We asked each IG whether or not they favored term limits for (1) Presidential IGs and (2) DFE IGs. In
    responding to this question, the IGs could select all that applied.
    18
      Public Law 100-504.
    19
      Currently there are 30 DFE IGs.



    Page 35                                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




entity heads to appoint their inspectors general. The powers and duties
extended to the DFE IGs are essentially the same as those provided to
presidentially appointed IGs.

As shown in figure 21, the majority20 of the DFE IGs—approximately
53 percent—expressed satisfaction with the current organization structure
and operating environment, and therefore, did not favor any change.
Fifteen percent of the presidential IGs were of the same opinion. However,
some respondents—both presidential and DFE—expressed the opinion that
some change was warranted. For example, 30 percent of the DFE IGs and
23 percent of the presidential IGs believed that consideration should be
given to cross-servicing among the presidential and DFE IGs. Similarly,
23 percent of the DFE IGs and 15 percent of the presidential IGs favored
cross-servicing among the DFE IGs. Additionally, the topic of reorganizing
some of the DFE IGs offices has been discussed within the IG community
and at congressional hearings. Therefore, we asked the IGs their opinion
on this matter.21 From an overall perspective, the presidential IGs were
more in favor of combining the DFEs. Specifically, 27 percent of the
presidential IGs favored combining the smaller DFE IGs under several DFE
IGs, whereas, only 7 percent of the DFE IGs supported this alternative.
Similarly, 15 percent of the presidential IGs supported the idea of
combining all of the DFEs under a new presidentially appointed IG;
10 percent of the DFEs supported this approach.




20
  In responding to this question, the IGs could select more than one option.
21
 Three presidential IGs did not respond to this question. We were not able to identify who these IGs
were because this question was in the anonymous questionnaire.



Page 36                                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                  B-281356




Figure 21: Reported IG Views on
                                                                                                                   53
Suggested Changes in DFE IG             Percent of IGs
Organization                      50

                                  45

                                  40

                                  35
                                                                                         30
                                  30
                                                             27
                                  25                                           23   23             23

                                  20
                                        15                                15                                  15
                                  15
                                                                                              12                             12
                                             10
                                  10              8
                                                                      7
                                   5                     3
                                                                                                                                   0
                                   0
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                                                                l
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                                                   Presidential IGs

                                                   Designated federal entity IGs



                                  Note: This figure is based on 26 presidential and 30 DFE IGs. Percentages add to more than
                                  100 percent because more than one option could have been chosen.




                                  7. Do the presidential IGs view PCIE as an effective organization?

                                  PCIE is an interagency council established in March of 1981 by Executive
                                  Order No. 12301. PCIE is primarily comprised of the presidentially
                                  appointed and Senate-confirmed IGs and chaired by OMB’s Deputy Director
                                  for Management. An IG member serves as the Vice Chair. Members of PCIE
                                  are identified in appendix VI.

                                  The purpose of PCIE is to identify, review, and discuss areas of weakness in
                                  federal programs and to develop plans for coordinated governmentwide
                                  activities to address problems and promote economy and efficiency in




                                  Page 37                                                                    GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




federal programs. According to PCIE’s annual report for fiscal year 1996, A
Progress Report to the President, PCIE works to address integrity,
economy, and effectiveness issues that transcend individual agencies and
to increase the professionalism and effectiveness of IG personnel
throughout government.

As shown in figure 22, 46 percent of the presidential IGs responded that
PCIE was a moderately effective organization. However, about 35 percent
responded that PCIE was moderately to very ineffective. Both sides
presented pros and cons of PCIE’s effectiveness. The presidential IGs noted
that PCIE is a good forum for the exchange of information and discussion
of common issues among IGs. It is also viewed as useful in providing
professional training to its personnel—both audit and investigative.
However, some presidential IGs stated that it is difficult to reach
agreement or consensus in PCIE meetings because of the diversity of its
membership with representatives bringing to meetings different agendas
based on their respective agency’s missions. Further, according to some
IGs, PCIE needs to better address governmentwide issues and projects.




Page 38                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                         B-281356




Figure 22: Reported Extent to Which
the Presidential IGs Believe That PCIE   Percent of presidential IGs
Is Effective                                                       46
                                         45

                                         40

                                         35

                                         30
                                                                                     27

                                         25

                                         20                                  19


                                         15

                                         10                                                 8

                                          5

                                                   0
                                          0
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                                         Note: This figure is based on 26 presidential IGs.




                                         In commenting on a draft of this report, the presidential IGs noted that PCIE
                                         has provided valuable service to the IG community. They noted that PCIE
                                         has developed governmentwide standards for audits, investigations, and
                                         inspections. In addition, PCIE maintains two training centers that are used
                                         for the benefit of all IGs. Additionally, the IGs commented that PCIE has
                                         worked collectively on various projects and governmentwide issues. For
                                         example, representatives from nine IGs conducted an assessment of the
                                         Internal Revenue Service’s inspection service. Further, the IGs noted that
                                         PCIE has developed forums for the discussion and exchange of information
                                         related to the Year 2000 problem and the Government Performance and
                                         Results Act of 1993.22

                                         22
                                           The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993—commonly referred to as the Results
                                         Act—requires agencies to develop strategic goals tied to agency missions, identify performance
                                         measures associated with those goals, and implement annual results-oriented performance reports
                                         linked to budget requests.



                                         Page 39                                                      GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




8. Do the DFE IGs view ECIE as an effective organization?

ECIE was established in 1992 by Executive Order No. 12805.23 ECIE
membership consists primarily of the DFE IGs and is chaired by OMB’s
Deputy Director for Management. An IG member serves as the Vice Chair.
The entire ECIE membership is identified in appendix VII. The purpose of
ECIE is the same as PCIE, that is, to identify, review, and discuss areas of
weakness in federal programs; and develop plans for coordinated
governmentwide activities to address problems and promote economy and
efficiency in federal programs.

As shown in figure 23, the vast majority of DFE IGs—80 percent—indicated
that ECIE is an effective organization, with 10 percent responding very
effective and 70 percent responding moderately effective. The DFE IGs
noted that ECIE facilitates communication and sharing of common
community issues among IGs as well as provides a forum to discuss and
keep abreast of current issues. A few DFE IGs stated that ECIE facilitates
coordination and information sharing between ECIE and OMB. In addition,
some DFE IGs stated that their size often precludes them from having the
necessary resources to undertake common projects. Since all of these
responses were part of the anonymous questionnaire, we were unable to
follow up with the DFE IGs to obtain more details on the specific concerns
they raised.




23
 Executive Order 12625, January 27, 1988, established the Coordinating Conference, which consisted
primarily of the DFE IGs. The Coordinating Conference evolved into ECIE.



Page 40                                                      GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                                      B-281356




Figure 23: Reported Extent to Which
the DFE IGs Believe That ECIE Is      Percent of DFE IGs
Effective                                                       70
                                      70


                                      60


                                      50


                                      40


                                      30


                                      20

                                                10
                                      10                                     7                      7
                                                                        3                3
                                                                                   0
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                                      Note: This figure is based on 30 DFE IGs.




                                      9. What are the presidential IGs views on the effectiveness of PCIE
                                      Integrity Committee?

                                      The Integrity Committee was established by PCIE in January 1995 for the
                                      purpose of receiving, reviewing, and referring for investigation, allegations
                                      of wrongdoing against certain staff members of the IG offices. The
                                      committee replaced a working group that reviewed allegations against IGs
                                      and their principal deputies. In March 1996, Executive Order No. 12993
                                      formalized the process and established the membership of the Integrity
                                      Committee.

                                      The Integrity Committee is chaired by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
                                      (FBI) representative to PCIE. Other members include the Special Counsel,
                                      Office of the Special Counsel; the Director, Office of Government Ethics;




                                      Page 41                                                      GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
B-281356




and three or more IGs, representing both PCIE and ECIE. In addition, the
Chief of the Public Integrity Section, Department of Justice Criminal
Division, serves as an advisor.

Allegations received by PCIE are assigned to the Integrity Committee for
processing and review. Allegations that the Integrity Committee deems to
be worthy of further review are referred to the Department of Justice,
Public Integrity Section, to determine if the allegation, if proved, would
constitute a violation of federal criminal law. If it is determined that a
criminal investigation is warranted, the Public Integrity Section can
investigate the allegation or refer it to the FBI. If it is determined that a
criminal investigation is not warranted or that the investigation
substantiated misconduct but prosecution is declined, the allegation is
returned to the Integrity Committee for an administrative review.

If a noncriminal allegation is determined to warrant referral, the Integrity
Committee can (1) refer the allegation to the head of the affected agency
for a response, (2) request an uninvolved IG, or its staff on detail, to
conduct an investigation, or (3) refer the allegation to an appropriate
governmentwide agency for review. For example, the Special Counsel,
Office of Special Counsel, who as a member of the Integrity Committee
participates in the review of all allegations, can ask that particular
allegations be referred to that office for investigation.

Upon completion of the agency’s follow-up, investigation, or review, the
agency head notifies the Integrity Committee of the results and what
action, if any, should be taken against the subject of the allegation. If the
committee concurs with the agency’s findings, the matter is closed with a
letter to PCIE Chair and others as appropriate. If the Integrity Committee
does not concur with the investigation, the matter is to be referred back to
the agency head, or to another agency, for appropriate action. The matter
is not to be closed until the committee concurs with the agency’s
investigative findings.

The majority of the presidential IGs—58 percent—stated that the Integrity
Committee was effective in handling allegations of wrongdoing against an
IG or an IG staff member. However, about 31 percent of the presidential IGs
responded that the Integrity Committee was ineffective. Some IGs raised
concern that the process of handling allegations took too long and did not
adequately address noncriminal or administrative allegations.




Page 42                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                  B-281356




                  In commenting on a draft of this report, the Chairman of the Integrity
                  Committee noted that although the number of cases has doubled since
                  1990, the time required to process cases has declined. According to the
                  Chairman, it took approximately 28 months to process cases in 1990, but
                  in 1998 it took only about 4 months to process cases. Additionally, the
                  Chairman stated that about 93 percent of the allegations the Integrity
                  Committee receives are determined to be unsubstantiated, insufficiently
                  supported, or frivolous or to fall outside of the Committee’s purview.


                  The IGs and OMB generally agreed with the contents of the report, and OMB
Agency Comments   generally agreed with the comments provided by PCIE and ECIE.
                  Additionally, ECIE noted that the report presents the survey results in a
                  clear and objective manner. ECIE provided technical comments that we
                  have incorporated where appropriate. The Chairman of the Integrity
                  Committee commented only on the IGs’ responses related to the
                  Committee. We have incorporated these comments as appropriate.


                  We are sending copies of this report to the Vice Chairs and Ranking
                  Minority Members of the House Committee on Government Reform and
                  Oversight and its Subcommittee on Government Management, Information
                  and Technology; the Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Special
                  Committee on Aging; the Chairmen and Ranking Minority Members of the
                  Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, House and Senate
                  Committees on Appropriations, House and Senate Committees on the
                  Budget; the Director, Office of Management and Budget; and the 57 IGs.
                  Copies will also be made available to others upon request.

                  The major contributors to this letter are listed in appendix X. If you have
                  any questions concerning this report, please contact me at (202) 512-6240.




                  Linda D. Koontz
                  Associate Director, Audit Oversight and Liaison




                  Page 43                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Contents



Letter                                                           1


Appendix I                                                      48
Establishment of the
Inspectors General
and the Work They
Perform
Appendix II                                                     52
List of Presidentially
Appointed Inspectors
General
Appendix III                                                    53
List of Designated
Federal Entity
Inspectors General
Appendix IV                                                     54
Objectives, Scope,
and Methodology
Appendix V                                                      55
Semiannual Reporting
Requirements of the
Inspector General Act,
as Amended




                         Page 44   GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                         Contents




Appendix VI                                                                                       56
Membership of the
President’s Council on
Integrity and
Efficiency
Appendix VII                                                                                      57
Membership of the
Executive Council on
Integrity and
Efficiency
Appendix VIII                                                                                     58
Comments From the
President’s Council on
Integrity and
Efficiency
Appendix IX                                                                                       63
Comments From the
Executive Council on
Integrity and
Efficiency
Appendix X                                                                                        64
Major Contributors to
This Report
Figures                  Figure 1: Reported IG Obligations by the Type of Work                     4
                           Performed for Fiscal Year 1997
                         Figure 2: Reported Distribution of the IG Staff Occupations               6
                         Figure 3: Reported Breakdown of IG Staff by Occupational Job              7
                           Series




                         Page 45                                     GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Contents




Figure 4: Reported Types of Advanced Degrees Held by IG Staff              8
Figure 5: Reported Certifications Held by IG Staff                         9
Figure 6: Reported Types of Positions in IG Offices                       11
Figure 7: Reported Career Backgrounds of Presidential IGs                 12
Figure 8: Reported Career Backgrounds of the DFE IGs                      14
Figure 9: Reported Number of Years in the IG Position                     15
Figure 10: Reported Number of IG Positions Filled and Vacant              16
Figure 11: Reported Year Covered by the Last Peer Review                  19
Figure 12: Reported Type of Opinion the IGs Received on Their             20
  Last Peer Review
Figure 13: Reported IG Use of Standard Methodologies                      22
Figure 14: Reported Presidential IG Use of Quality Assurance              24
  Procedures for Audits and Inspections
Figure 15: Reported DFE IG Use of Quality Assurance Procedures            25
  for Audits and Inspections
Figure 16: Reported IG Use of Quality Assurance Procedures for            26
  Investigations
Figure 17: Reported Type of Law Enforcement Actions IGs Can               28
  Take
Figure 18: Reported Type of Law Enforcement Authority the IGs             29
  Believe They Should Have
Figure 19: Reported IG Views on the Usefulness of the 7-Day               31
  Letter
Figure 20: Reported Extent to Which the IGs Believe That They             34
  Have Sufficient Independence
Figure 21: Reported IG Views on Suggested Changes in DFE IG               37
  Organization
Figure 22: Reported Extent to Which the Presidential IGs Believe          39
  That PCIE Is Effective
Figure 23: Reported Extent to Which the DFE IGs Believe That              41
  ECIE Is Effective




Abbreviations

DFE        Designated Federal Entity
ECIE       Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency
FBI        Federal Bureau of Investigation
GAGAS      generally accepted government auditing standards
IG         Inspector General
OMB        Office of Management and Budget
PCIE       President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency


Page 46                                      GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Page 47   GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix I

Establishment of the Inspectors General and
the Work They Perform

               The importance of legislative underpinnings for auditing in the federal
               government dates back almost half a century to the Accounting and
               Auditing Act of 1950, which held federal agency heads responsible for
               internal controls, including appropriate internal audit. The need to
               strengthen this requirement became evident when, in 1976, GAO began to
               issue a series of reports on reviews at 157 fiscal offices in 11 major federal
               organizations. These reports indicated widespread and serious internal
               control weaknesses that resulted in the waste of government money
               through fraud and mismanagement.

               We reported that federal agencies did not use their internal auditors to
               examine their financial operations and when they did, no action was taken
               on the auditors’ recommendations. We also found that internal audit
               groups were not independent, they were underfunded and understaffed,
               audit efforts were fragmented among several offices, and problems found
               by the audits were not communicated to the agency heads. With rare
               exceptions, the executive agencies had not adequately monitored,
               assessed or reviewed their own operations and programs. As a result, the
               Congress passed the Inspector General Act of 1978 (IG Act), Public Law
               95-452, as amended. The IG Act established Inspector General offices in
               federal departments and agencies to create independent and objective
               units responsible for (1) conducting and supervising audits and
               investigations, (2) providing leadership and coordination and
               recommending policies to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness,
               and (3) detecting and preventing fraud and abuse in their agencies’
               programs and operations.

               Subsequently, two interagency councils were established to provide a
               coordinating mechanism for the IGs. Through these councils, IGs are to
               identify, review, and discuss areas of weakness in federal programs; and
               develop plans for coordinated governmentwide activities to address
               problems and promote economy and efficiency in federal programs. The
               President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) was established in
               March of 1981 by Executive Order No. 12301 and is primarily comprised of
               presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed IGs. The Executive Council
               on Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE) was established in May 1992 by
               Executive Order No. 12805 and consists primarily of the DFE IGs. The
               Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Deputy Director for
               Management chairs both of these councils. An IG member of each council
               serves as the vice chair. Appendix IV and V contain complete lists of PCIE
               and ECIE membership.




               Page 48                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix I
Establishment of the Inspectors General and
the Work They Perform




To carry out their mandate, IGs perform various types of work including
financial and performance audits, investigations, and inspections. The
types of work performed by the IGs are highlighted below.

Financial statement audit provides reasonable assurance about
whether the financial statements of an audited entity represent fairly the
financial position, results of operations, and cash flows in conformity with
generally accepted accounting principles based on audits conducted in
accordance with GAGAS.

Financial related audits include determining whether (1) financial
information is presented in accordance with established or stated criteria,
(2) the entity has adhered to specific financial compliance requirements,
or (3) the entity’s internal control structure over financial reporting and/or
safeguarding assets is suitably designed and implemented to achieve the
control objectives.

Investigation is a planned systematic search for relevant, objective, and
sufficient facts and evidence derived through interviews, record
examinations, and the application of other approved professional
investigative techniques. Investigations may be administrative, civil, or
criminal in nature.

Inspection is a process, other than an audit or an investigation, that is
aimed at evaluating, reviewing, studying, and analyzing the programs and
activities of a department or agency for the purposes of providing
information to managers for decision-making, for making
recommendations for improvements to programs, policies, or procedures,
and for administrative action. Inspections include providing factual and
analytical information, monitoring compliance, measuring performance,
assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of operations, and conducting
inquiries into allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement.

Performance audit is an objective and systematic examination of
evidence for the purpose of providing an independent assessment of the
performance of a government organization, program, activity, or function
in order to provide information to improve public accountability and
facilitate decision-making by parties with responsibility to oversee or
initiate corrective action. Performance audits include economy and
efficiency audits, program audits, and program evaluations, which are
highlighted below.




Page 49                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
    Appendix I
    Establishment of the Inspectors General and
    the Work They Perform




•   Economy and efficiency audits include determining (1) whether the entity
    is acquiring, protecting, and using its resources economically and
    efficiently, (2) the causes of inefficiencies or uneconomical practices, and
    (3) whether the entity has complied with laws and regulations on matters
    of economy and efficiency.
•   Program audits include determining (1) the extent to which the desired
    results or benefits established by the legislature or other authorizing body
    are being achieved, (2) the effectiveness of organizations, programs,
    activities, or functions, and (3) whether the entity has complied with
    significant law and regulations applicable to the program.
•   Program evaluations are systematic studies conducted periodically to
    assess how well a program is working. Program evaluations include
    (1) assessing the extent to which a program is operating as it was
    intended, (2) assessing the extent to which a program achieves its
    outcome-oriented objectives, (3) assessing the net effect of a program by
    comparing program outcomes with an estimate of what would have
    happened in the absence of the program, and (4) comparing a program’s
    outputs or outcomes with the costs to produce them.

    Clinger-Cohen Act implementation encourages federal agencies to
    evaluate and adopt best management and acquisition practices used by
    both private and public sector organizations and requires agencies to base
    decisions about information technology investments on quantitative and
    qualitative factors such as costs, benefits, and risks of those investments
    and to use performance data to demonstrate how well the information
    technology expenditures support improvements to agency programs.

    Year 2000 computer system problem results from the inability of
    computer programs at the year 2000 to interpret the correct century from a
    recorded or calculated date having only two digits to indicate the year.
    Unless corrected, computer systems could malfunction or produce
    incorrect information when the year 2000 is encountered during
    automated data processing.

    Oversight of Nonfederal Audits ensures that audit work performed by
    nonfederal auditors complies with applicable federal standards.

    Operation of Hotlines receives and analyzes allegations of waste, fraud,
    or abuse in connection with the programs and operations of their
    respective agencies.




    Page 50                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix I
Establishment of the Inspectors General and
the Work They Perform




In commenting on a draft of this report, one IG responded that the office
performs administrative enforcement activities which are authorized by
the Fraud Civil Remedies Act and similar legislation.




Page 51                                       GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix II

List of Presidentially Appointed Inspectors
General

              •   Agency for International Development
              •   Central Intelligence Agency
              •   Corporation for National and Community Service
              •   Department of Agriculture
              •   Department of Commerce
              •   Department of Defense
              •   Department of Education
              •   Department of Energy
              •   Department of Health and Human Services
              •   Department of Housing and Urban Development
              •   Department of the Interior
              •   Department of Justice
              •   Department of Labor
              •   Department of State
              •   Department of Transportation
              •   Department of the Treasury
              •   Department of Veterans Affairs
              •   Environmental Protection Agency
              •   Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
              •   Federal Emergency Management Agency
              •   General Services Administration
              •   National Aeronautics and Space Administration
              •   Nuclear Regulatory Commission
              •   Office of Personnel Management
              •   Railroad Retirement Board
              •   Small Business Administration
              •   Social Security Administration




                  Page 52                                    GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix III

List of Designated Federal Entity Inspectors
General

               •   Amtrak
               •   Appalachian Regional Commission
               •   Consumer Product Safety Commission
               •   Commodity Futures Trading Commission
               •   Corporation for Public Broadcasting
               •   Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
               •   Farm Credit Administration
               •   Federal Communications Commission
               •   Federal Election Commission
               •   Federal Housing Finance Board
               •   Federal Labor Relations Authority
               •   Federal Maritime Commission
               •   Federal Reserve Board
               •   Federal Trade Commission
               •   Government Printing Office
               •   Legal Services Corporation
               •   National Archives and Records Administration
               •   National Credit Union Administration
               •   National Endowment for the Arts
               •   National Endowment for the Humanities
               •   National Labor Relations Board
               •   National Science Foundation
               •   Panama Canal Commission
               •   Peace Corps
               •   Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
               •   Securities and Exchange Commission
               •   Smithsonian Institution
               •   Tennessee Valley Authority
               •   United States International Trade Commission
               •   United States Postal Service




                   Page 53                                    GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix IV

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology


              Our objectives were to obtain (1) information on IG organization, staffing,
              workload, and operational issues and (2) the views of the IGs on policy
              issues affecting them such as term limits, law enforcement authority,
              semiannual reporting, and the IG selection process. To accomplish our
              objectives, we developed and administered two questionnaires to obtain
              information from the IGs. One questionnaire was for attribution and
              requested information regarding the IGs’ organizational structure, staffing,
              and workload. At your request, the other questionnaire was anonymous
              and requested the IGs’ views on current policy issues. Because this
              questionnaire was anonymous, we were unable to contact the IGs and
              obtain clarification, additional details, or missing responses. Prior to
              sending out the questionnaires, we pretested them with the IGs from the
              Smithsonian Institution and the Office of Personnel Management and
              revised them as necessary.

              The questionnaires were sent to all 57 IGs—27 presidentially appointed and
              30 DFE IGs. We received responses for each questionnaire from 56 IGs. We
              did not independently verify the information provided by the IGs. In
              addition, we reviewed the testimony presented at the April 21, 1998,
              hearing held by the Subcommittee on Government Management,
              Information and Technology, House Committee on Government Reform
              and Oversight, and the September 9, 1998, hearing held by the Senate
              Committee on Governmental Affairs to ascertain the current IG policy
              issues.

              We performed our review between April 1998 and December 1998 in
              accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. We
              requested comments on a draft of this report from the Office of
              Management and Budget’s (OMB) Acting Deputy Director for Management,
              the Chairman of the Integrity Committee,1 and all 57 IGs. On December 10,
              1998, and December 14, 1998, respectively, we received oral comments
              from the Integrity Committee and OMB that are discussed in the “Agency
              Comments” section. The Vice Chair of the President’s Council on Integrity
              and Efficiency (PCIE) and the Vice Chair of the Executive Council on
              Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE) provided written comments consolidating
              the comments of presidential and DFE IGs, respectively. These comments
              are discussed in the “Agency Comments” section and are reprinted in
              appendixes VIII and IX, respectively.




              1
               The Integrity Committee is responsible for receiving, reviewing, and referring for investigation
              allegations of wrongdoing against certain staff members of the IG offices.



              Page 54                                                         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix V

Semiannual Reporting Requirements of the
Inspector General Act, as Amended


Subsection   Section 5(a) Reporting Requirements
1            A description of significant problems, abuses and deficiencies relating to the administration of programs and
               operations
2            A description of the recommendations for corrective action made by the IG during the reporting period with respect
               to significant problems, abuses, or deficiencies
3            An identification of each significant recommendation described in previous semiannual reports on which corrective
              action has not been completed
4            A summary of matters referred to prosecutive authorities and the prosecutions and convictions which have resulted
5            A summary of each report made to the head of the establishment when the IG judges that there has been an
               unreasonable refusal to provide requested information or assistance
6            A listing, subdivided according to subject matter, of each audit report issued by the IG during the reporting period
               and for each audit report, where applicable, the total dollar value of questioned costs and the dollar value of
               recommendations that funds be put to better use
7            A summary of each particularly significant report
8            Statistical tables showing the total number of audit reports and the total dollar value of questioned costs for audit
               reports
                  a. for which no management decision had been made
                  b. which were issued during the reporting period
                  c. for which management decision was made during the period
                  d. for which no management decision had been made by the end of the period
9            Statistical tables showing the total number of audit reports and the dollar value of recommendations that funds be put
               to better use by management, for audit reports
                  a. for which no management decision had been made
                  b. which were issued during the reporting period
                  c. for which management decision was made during the period
                  d. for which no management decision had been made by the end of the period
10           A summary of each audit report issued before the commencement of the reporting period for which no management
               decision had been made by the end of the reporting period, an explanation of the reasons such management
               decision has not been made, and a statement concerning the desired timetable for achieving a management
               decision on each such report
11           A description and explanation of the reasons for any significant revised management decision made during the
               reporting period
12           Information concerning any significant management decision with which the IG is in disagreement




                                            Page 55                                                  GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix VI

Membership of the President’s Council on
Integrity and Efficiency

              •   OMB’s Deputy Director for Management serves as the chairperson
              •   All presidential appointed IGs
              •   Vice Chairperson of ECIE
              •   Controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management
              •   Associate Deputy Director for Investigations of the Federal Bureau of
                  Investigation
              •   Director of the Office of Government Ethics
              •   Special Counsel of the Office of Special Counsel
              •   Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management




                  Page 56                                      GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix VII

Membership of the Executive Council on
Integrity and Efficiency

               •   OMB’s Deputy Director for Management serves as the chairperson
               •   All DFE IGs
               •   Vice Chairperson of PCIE
               •   Controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management
               •   Associate Deputy Director for Investigations of the Federal Bureau of
                   Investigation, or their designee
               •   Director of the Office of Government Ethics, or their designee
               •   Special Counsel of the Office of Special Counsel, or their designee
               •   Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management, or their designee




                   Page 57                                      GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix VIII

Comments From the President’s Council on
Integrity and Efficiency

Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in
the report text appear at
the end of this appendix.




                            Page 58   GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                    Appendix VIII
                    Comments From the President’s Council on
                    Integrity and Efficiency




Now on p. 3.



See comment 1.




Now on p. 11.


See comment 1.




Now on p. 14.


See comment 1.




Now on pp. 36-38.


See comment 2.




                    Page 59                                    GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix VIII
Comments From the President’s Council on
Integrity and Efficiency




Page 60                                    GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
                    Appendix VIII
                    Comments From the President’s Council on
                    Integrity and Efficiency




Now on pp. 48-51.

See comment 1.




Now on p. 49.


See comment 1.




                    Page 61                                    GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
               Appendix VIII
               Comments From the President’s Council on
               Integrity and Efficiency




               The following are GAO’s comments regarding the presidential IG views
               contained in the December 10, 1998, letter from PCIE.


               1. The report has been revised accordingly.
GAO Comments
               2. In responding to the anonymous questionnaire, the presidential IGs were
               provided an opportunity to give their views and opinions on the
               effectiveness of PCIE. Of the 26 presidential IGs, 21 (or approximately
               81 percent) provided written comments, which are summarized in the
               report. The written comments from 16 of the 21 IGs did not fully reflect the
               information discussed in the December 10, 1998, letter. However, we have
               revised the report to include the additional views presented in the letter.




               Page 62                                        GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix IX

Comments From the Executive Council on
Integrity and Efficiency




              Page 63         GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
Appendix X

Major Contributors to This Report


                       Jackson W. Hufnagle, Assistant Director
Accounting and         Edith A. Pyles, Assistant Director
Information            Darby W. Smith, Assistant Director
Management Division,   Clarence A. Whitt, Senior Accountant
                       James F. Loschiavo, Supervisory Social Science Analyst
Washington, D.C.       Cristina T. Chaplain, Communications Analyst


                       Dieter M. Kiefer, Assistant Director
Kansas City Field
Office
                       Perry G. Datwyler, Senior Evaluator
San Francisco Field    RoJeanne Liu, Senior Evaluator/Computer Specialist
Office                 Thomas P. Monahan, Senior Evaluator


                       Jacquelyn Hamilton, Attorney
Office of General
Counsel




(911874)               Page 64                                     GAO/AIMD-99-29 IG Survey Results
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