One of the objectives of our Institutes is building the IG community. Being an IG or working in an OIG can be a lonely business. The IG mission of monitoring government separates most OIGs from the people working in the agencies that the IG oversees.
Mingling at the Institute™ Reception at the Drury Plaza Riverwalk hotel in San Antonio
AIG Institutes afford IGs and their staffers the camaraderie, networking, and information-sharing opportunity that can be missing in their own jurisdictions. In San Antonio, we spoke to attendees and asked them about the importance of being part of the greater IG community.
IG Institute attendees enjoy hors d'oeuvres at the IG Institute™ Reception
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Robert Clift, Inspector General, Florida Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General reported the Florida DOT OIG and the US Department of Transportation OIG concluded an investigation which disclosed a former department right-of-way agent accepted bribes from an Orlando business for assistance in submitting false relocation and storage claims to the department. The investigation also showed that the former employee moved the bribe money between different bank accounts in an effort to conceal the crime. Read more →
From the Federal Times
Article by AIG Board Member, Eric Feldman
Sequestration’s mandatory spending cuts occurred this year due to the failure of both parties in Congress to agree on a budget compromise. The federal government is in the process of furloughing personnel, cutting programs and reducing or canceling contracts to meet these unprecedented budget reductions.
Agencies will need to scale back the number and size of new contracts for programs deemed noncritical. Even critical programs will likely be impacted as agencies look for more efficient ways to use reduced funding. Read more →
When Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County, Sharon R. Bock created a guardianship fraud program, she knew it could have a significant impact – especially in a community with an aging population and a growing number of guardianship cases.
Sharon R. Bock, Esq., Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County
The Clerk’s guardianship fraud program, part of the Division of Inspector General, ensures greater protection of vulnerable citizens who are at risk of being exploited by guardians, caregivers and neighbors. If necessary, a guardian is appointed by the courts and has a statutory duty to use guardianship assets for the sole benefit of the vulnerable person. The Clerk’s Division of Inspector General conducts enhanced audits and in-depth investigations scrutinizing the county’s more than 2,755 guardianship cases. “Never before in the Palm Beach County’s history have the most vulnerable citizens been so protected,” Clerk Bock said.
The Clerk’s IG audits, which are designed to better identify guardianship fraud and financial mismanagement, come at a critical time. Palm Beach County’s guardianship cases are estimated to increase by 15 percent, or 400 new cases, each year, as its senior citizen population continues to grow. Palm Beach County has already the second-largest population of people older than 60 in the state, and Florida has the most number of Alzheimer’s patients per capita in the U.S. Read more →
From the Plain-Dealer
August 26, 2013
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Five Cuyahoga County Council members voted late Tuesday to derail a proposed charter amendment that good-government advocates said is needed to protect the county’s inspector general from the political or personal whims of the council.
The nay votes came from Council President C. Ellen Connally and council members Dan Brady, Yvonne Conwell, Pernel Jones and Dale Miller despite one fellow Democrat, Charles Germana, calling a vote for the issue a “no brainer” given the recent government corruption scandal.
“The corruption scandal is 2-and-a-half years ago,” Germana said. “Fifty to 60 people have been prosecuted.”
to read the entire article, click here
BRISTOL, Va. (AP) – Virginia’s inspector general is investigating whether one of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s assistants improperly offered legal advice to two energy companies, including a subsidiary of a corporation that has donated more than $100,000 to Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign.
Cuccinelli refused to answer questions about the investigation at a news conference on his education platform Tuesday, but he issued a written statement a few minutes later predicting his office would be cleared.
“We’re glad the Inspector General’s Office has been looking into this case because they’re going to find that our office acted appropriately,” the Republican said.
The investigation was prompted by a judge’s criticism of Assistant Attorney General Sharon Pigeon’s emails to attorneys for EQT Production Co. and CNX, which are being sued by southwest Virginia landowners seeking nearly $30 million in natural gas royalties tied up in state-mandated escrow accounts. U.S. Magistrate Pamela Meade Sargent said in court papers in early June that she was shocked that Pigeon seemed to offer the Pittsburgh-based energy companies’ attorneys advice on how to fight the lawsuits.
To read the entire article, click here
We are pleased to announce that Jim Hagen has been appointed Inspector General for the National Credit Union Administration. Inspector General Hagen attended the Winter 2013 Certified Inspector General Institute in Austin, TX.
Click here for the official press release
From Federal Times
The inspector general for the General Services Administration expects to lose out on more than a quarter-billion dollars in potential government savings next year, as the sequester-related budget cuts force the agency to scale back on efforts to uncover waste and fraud for taxpayers.
The estimate, which came in response to a recent congressional inquiry, provides some hard numbers to an emerging concern in the IG community: that short-term sequester IG budget cuts will lead to long-term losses for agencies.
“Our audit staff has been particularly hit hard,” GSA IG Brian Miller wrote in a April 22 letter to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. Citing “strained resources,” Miller told Shaheen that his office projects a $281 million reduction for fiscal 2014 in financial recommendations, cost avoidance and recoveries from his audit office alone.
To read entire article, click here
By AIG Member, Brian Buchner
In most municipalities across the United States, law enforcement is always a substantial, if not the largest, part of the budget, and liability can be significant. Effective law enforcement – the kind that drives down crime, engenders public confidence, respects its employees, and avoids front-page scandals – depends on the mutual trust and respect between police and the communities they serve. Allegations of police misconduct can strain police-community relations, shake the public’s confidence, and impede law enforcement’s ability to control crime. Research shows that a culture of police accountability and integrity is essential in building that mutual trust and respect.
AIG Member and Vice President of NACOLE, Brian Buchner
Like inspectors general who examine other areas of government operations, civilian oversight of law enforcement works to increase public trust and confidence in the police through independent and transparent investigations and/or review of internal police investigations, and ongoing monitoring of the police department policies and training. Citizen review of the police, in one form or another, exists in every large, and many mid-sized and smaller U.S. cities. Currently, there are at least 122 civilian oversight agencies around the U.S., with new police accountability offices being established regularly. Read more →
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!