Asia-Pacific Chapter President Betty Vega receives Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal

The Association of Inspectors General Asia-Pacific Chapter President, Betty Vega was awarded the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal in recognition and appreciation of service which has been of exceptional value and benefit to the Navy.  Admiral Cecil D. Haney, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet presented the award for superior service in the development and execution of the Pacific Fleet Inspector General mission to investigate, audit, inspect and inquire into all matters concerning organizations throughout the Pacific Fleet from April 2002 to December 2012.

Asia Pacific Chapter President, Betty Vega

The U.S. Pacific Fleet has an annual budget of 10 billion dollars and employs more than 200,000 people.  Ms. Vega resolved thousands of complaints of fraud, waste, abuse and requests for assistance, including over a hundred cases alleging violations of the Military Whistleblower Protection Act.  Her unmatched commitment to Navy personnel and their families while upholding the authority and accountability of the chain of command demonstrated exceptional leadership.  Admiral Haney said, “Ms. Vega’s outstanding professionalism and total dedication to duty reflected great credit upon herself and upheld the highest standards of the Department of the Navy.”  Bravo zulu for a job well done!

Member of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of AIG Deploying to Afghanistan

A member of the Asia-Pacific Chapter, AIG will deploy to Afghanistan this year to support the NATO training mission and combined security command for a one-year tour of duty.  LTC Jacky Westover will advise senior leaders of the Afghan National Army General Staff on the establishment, development and sustainment of the systems of the Inspector General.

LTC Jacky Westover, Member of the Asia-Pacific Chapter

Jacky will perform IG Assistance, Inspections, Investigations, and Teach and Train functions for the Commanding General of NATO Training Mission/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.  Her primary duties will include the management of external Audits and Inspections (e.g., SIGAR, GAO, DoD IG) of contracts involving Afghan Security Force Funds ($20 Billion).  She will also be the Contract Representative for the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior contractor support staff providing monthly assessment reports for each contract.  Jacky will provide oversight to IG internal controls and will supervise thirteen coalition/contractor IG staff and seven local national interpreters to ensure unity of effort and availability of adequate resources.  She will also assume the role of NATO Training Mission/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan Inspector General in that IG’s absence.  Jacky has served on the Asia-Pacific Chapter Executive Committee and is a member of the chapter’s Board of Directors.

Oversight Under Fire: Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart W. Bowen, Jr.

The Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association of Inspectors General held a professional development luncheon on August 18, 2011 at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.  The featured speaker was Mr. Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. – the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).  Bowen was appointed the SIGIR in October 2004 and oversees $58 billion in U.S. appropriated reconstruction funds.  He has made 30 trips to Iraq, issued 360 audits and inspections, 5 comprehensive lessons learned reports, and 28 reports to the U.S. Congress.

In Bowen’s highly successful IG office, he emphasizes professionalism, productivity, and perseverance, and values “pushing the truth forward”.  Bowen spoke of the challenges of working in an unstable and dangerous environment stating “Iraq is still an extraordinarily dangerous place to work”.  One of his auditor’s was killed in 2008 and five were wounded in 2007.

Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. - Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR)

The key points of Bowen’s presentation were the current situation in Iraq, findings in SIGIR reports, and lessons learned.  SIGIR auditors, investigators, and staff operate in Washington, D.C. and Iraq.  The highest number of SIGIR employees in Iraq was 55; currently there are 16.  SIGIR employees truly conduct oversight under fire – the embassy compound where the employees work is regularly shelled.  Bowen referred to this summer as the “summer of uncertainty” reflecting this time of transition and insecurity punctuated by recent coordinated and extensive attacks.

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