Report: IGs recovered billions for feds in 2007

Inspectors general recouped billions of dollars in fiscal 2007 from their investigations of individuals and organizations and made federal agencies more accountable and transparent, a report about the accomplishments of the federal IG community said.

IGs identified potential dollar savings, program efficiencies and enhancements from agency audits, investigations and inspections last year, the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) and the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE) said in a joint report to Congress released April 8.

These investigations produced $11.4 billion in potential savings from audit recommendations; $5.1 billion from investigative recoveries; 6,800 indictments and other criminal informational actions; more than 4,300 suspensions or debarments; and nearly 310,000 hotline complaints processed, the report said.

In another area, PCIE consolidated and assessed data that IGs collected on agencies’ compliance with the Office of Management and Budget 's guidance on protecting sensitive information in 2006. Fifty IGs responded to the data call and produced a summary report to OMB in October 2006.

IGs similarly commit a substantial portion of their efforts to auditing agency financial statements. Auditors help ensure that the government’s financial information and reporting is transparent, valid and useful to agency decision-makers, the report said. Last year, 19 of the 24 major agencies received clean opinions, the same as the previous year but with fewer material weaknesses across government even as audit standards became stricter, the report said.

The IG community helps improve agency financial audits and has worked with OMB and the Government Accountability Office to develop processes and procedures for timely audit opinions, help agencies produce useful financial information, and improve agency financial and internal control systems, the organizations said.

By identifying and helping agencies address management and performance challenges, IGs promote government accountability and transparency and help the government work better, said Clay Johnson, OMB deputy director of management and chairman of both the PCIE and ECIE.

“The report indicates that the IGs are very effective at identifying ways for federal agencies to be more successful,” Johnson said. “I think of the IGs as being part of the overall governmentwide effort to identify things that need to be fixed, focusing on fixing them, making it very transparent what works and doesn’t work, and setting goals for making things that don’t work [begin to] work and quantifying it,” he said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.


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