Our Mission, Authority and Vision Statement
MISSION AND AUTHORITY
The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, creates independent audit and investigative units, called Offices of Inspector General (OIGs), at 61 Federal agencies. The mission of the OIGs, as spelled out in the Act, is to:
- Conduct and supervise independent and objective audits and investigations relating to agency programs and operations.
- Promote economy, effectiveness and efficiency within the agency.
- Prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse in agency programs and operations.
- Review and make recommendations regarding existing and proposed legislation and regulations relating to agency programs and operations.
- Keep the agency head and the Congress fully and currently informed of problems in agency programs and operations.
- To ensure objectivity, the IG Act empowers IGs with:
- Independence to determine what reviews to perform.
- Access to all information necessary for the reviews.
- Authority to publish findings and recommendations based on the reviews.
This Vision Statement and Statement of Reinvention Principles was unanimously adopted by the Inspectors General at meetings of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency and the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency in January 1994.
INSPECTORS GENERAL VISION STATEMENT
We are agents of positive change striving for continuous improvement in our agencies' management and program operations, and in our own offices.
STATEMENT OF REINVENTION PRINCIPLES
- Each work with our agency head and the Congress to improve program management.
- Maximize the positive impact and ensure the independence and objectivity of our audits, investigations and other reviews.
- Use our investigations and other reviews to increase Government integrity and recommend improved systems to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.
- Be innovative and question existing procedures and suggest improvements.
- Build relationships with program managers based on a shared commitment to improving program operations and effectiveness.
- Strive to continually improve the quality and usefulness of our products.
- Work together to address Government-wide issues.
STRATEGIES TO APPLY OUR REINVENTION PRINCIPLES
We, as Inspectors General (IGs), have two distinct roles: we work to promote efficient and effective program management and deter future problems; and we find and report on current problems. We, as IGs, have dual reporting responsibilities. We are among the very few officials whose direct "customers" include both agency heads and the Congress. Further, our customers extend beyond these two primary customers to include program managers and Administration officials who act on IG recommendations, agency employees, and the taxpayers,who support and benefit from the IGs' review of Government programs and operations.
We are barred by legislation from performing "program operating functions." We analyze programs and advise our customers, both management and the Congress, of ways in which programs can be improved. Although, by virtue of our mission, we perform an oversight role, we are not adversaries of program managers. IGs and program managers, within the differences of their roles, share a common goal of improving Government programs. The strategies to apply our reinvention principles are advisory and each Inspector General will need to interpret and implement them in a manner that best serves the needs of his or her office and agency.
Today, the IG community faces the same challenge as does all the Federal Government: that is to achieve excellence in the quality of service to our customers. This strategy is intended to demonstrate our commitment to serve as a model for improving Federal programs and service to our customers. This Statement of Reinvention Principles as developed is no way an abandonment or dilution of the responsibilities of the Inspectors General as set forth under the law. Instead, these principles demonstrate how the Inspectors General can best carry out their duties in harmony with the intent and spirit of the National Performance Review, and concurrently accomplish their legislatively mandated mission.
I. We Will Work With Our Agency Head and the Congress to Improve Program Management.
The opportunity to facilitate positive change within Government is greatest when IGs assist managers by identifying systems deficiencies and making recommendations designed to assure that programs and activities achieve desired results. To this end, we will:
- Seek to understand the expectations of our agency heads and the Congress as they develop or implement new programs or design changes to those that already exist.
- Emphasize the assessment of program management and service delivery issues and identify improvements.
- Help our agencies streamline operations, reduce unnecessary regulations, improve customer service, and minimize costly, duplicative and inefficient procedures.
- Offer advice and technical assistance as managers implement IG recommendations and make other changes designed to improve program management and service delivery.
- Advise our agency heads, the Congress, Administration officials, and program managers on the economy, efficiency, and integrity implications of pending legislation and regulations.
- Use the audits of financial statements required by the Chief Financial Officers Act as a tool for identifying areas for further analysis, and for helping management improve financial management and program performance.
- Advise our agencies on developing sound management information and financial reporting systems.
- Assist our agencies in developing performance standards and using performance measures.
- Advise our agency task forces examining ways to strengthen agency operations.
- Provide technical advice and recommendations for change to agency reinvention efforts based on insights developed through OIG audits, investigations and other reviews.
II. We Will Maximize the Positive Impact and Ensure the Independence and Objectivity of our Audits, Investigations and Other Reviews.
In order to comply with the intent of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, and assist in achieving our vision, we will:
- Continue to develop strategic plans for our offices that focus on the critical issues within our agencies and that meet the expectations of our Agency Heads and the Congress.
- Be proactive in conducting our work.
- Establish priorities and provide timely products.
- Pursue allegations of fraud, waste and abuse following our strategic plans.
- Increase the use of risk assessments to determine where to spend our audit, inspection and investigation resources.
- Design more audits and other reviews to meet multiple objectives.
- Make fuller use of available data bases before initiating new data collection activities.
- Ensure planning decisions are based on potential positive impact on costs, service delivery or accomplishment of program objectives.
III. We Will Use Our Investigations and Other Reviews to Increase Government Integrity and Recommend Improved Systems to Prevent Fraud, Waste and Abuse.
To ensure that our reviews bring the maximum possible return to the Government, we will:
- Analyze the results of our investigations and other reviews to identify program vulnerabilities and recommend ways to prevent program abuse.
- Focus our investigations and other reviews on compliance with rules that directly impact program integrity.
- Use customer feedback to improve our work products.
- Work with users of our investigative products to enhance the effectiveness of investigations in facilitating positive change.
- Focus investigation resources on the areas of greatest Government vulnerability and the identification of management control deficiencies.
- Examine the underlying causes of fraud, waste, and abuse and recommend ways that program vulnerabilities can be addressed, using inter-disciplinary teams where appropriate.
- Cooperate with agency officials in developing integrity awareness training.
IV. We Will Be Innovative and Question Existing Procedures and Suggest Improvements.
To enhance our role as agents of positive change, we will:
- Analyze how well programs meet their goals and whether existing rules and procedures help or hinder mission fulfillment.
- Identify successful program management practices that can be adapted for use in other agency programs.
- Assess agencies' customer satisfaction and analyze customer concerns about agency programs.
- Recommend changes in program design and management techniques to increase efficiency and improve program results.
To foster innovation within our own offices, we will:
- Experiment with innovative analytical techniques and reporting formats, while ensuring that rigorous professional standards are met.
- Consult with our customers so that we may provide the types of OIG analyses and services that best enable them to promote economy, effectiveness, and efficiency in Government programs.
- Select the types of audits, inspections and other analyses that best evaluate the program being reviewed and that provide the information needed by its managers.
- Work toward a diverse multidisciplinary workforce and assure full use of their talents through recruitment, training and development, and other approaches.
V. We Will Build Relationships With Program Managers Based On A Shared Commitment to Improving Program Operations and Effectiveness.
We recognize that program managers are accountable for their program's success or failure and we believe that our role is to assist managers with such efforts, without sacrificing our independence and objectivity. With this in mind, we will:
- Assure program managers that our goal is to effect positive change in Government programs.
- Solicit the views of program managers to get their input as we make decisions on our audit, inspection, and investigation programs.
- Provide timely, useful, documented analyses focused on issues of concern to program managers.
- Incorporate customer feedback mechanisms into the audit, inspection, and other review processes.
VI. We Will Strive to Continually Improve the Quality and Usefulness of Our Products.
To streamline OIG management and achieve continual improvement in our performance, we will:
- Ensure that our staffs are skilled in audit, investigation or inspection techniques, and that they have sufficient knowledge in the specifics of how our agencies' programs operate to meet the objectives of our work.
- Provide objective, timely, comprehensive, and concise audit, inspection, and investigative products that include findings and recommendations that are useful to our customers.
- Solicit, review and report customer feedback on our work and make any changes to our policies and procedures that are appropriate under the framework of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended.
- Assess our progress against performance measures and include an analysis in our semiannual reports to the Congress.
- Work with our customers to identify audit requirements and propose for consideration appropriate changes to regulation or statute.
- Work within our own offices to determine the most cost effective procedures for ensuring the quality of audits of Federal grantees and contractors performed by non-Federal auditors.
- Ensure that the work plans of our audit, investigation and other review activities are complementary and mutually supportive.
VII. Work Together to Address Government-Wide Issues.
We, the Inspectors General, will cooperate to address those integrity, economy and effectiveness issues that transcend individual Federal agencies.
To improve the functioning of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) and the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency (ECIE), we will:
- Identify substantive issues and participate in candid discussions at our meetings.
- Conduct planning for council activities at the member level.
- Identify projects where strong positive change could result from a Government-wide IG review and monitor those projects at the full council level.
- Personally participate in council projects and in council committees and subcommittees.
- Examine the established committee structures and recommend appropriate changes.
- Enhance and coordinate activities among the PCIE, ECIE, the President's Management Council, the Chief Financial Officers Council, the Small Agency Council and other Administration management officials.
To increase the effectiveness of individual OIGs and support individual members in their implementation of this vision statement, we will work together as the PCIE and ECIE to:
- Sponsor training on innovative types of IG work.
- Assist individual IGs in developing performance measures that gauge the full impact and range of OIG work.
- Work with the management councils to foster an environment of mutual respect that enables the IGs to fully participate in our agencies' reinvention efforts.
- Examine the peer review process to determine if there are opportunities for improvement.