Department of Health & Human Services IG and CIGIE Awards Program co-chair Daniel R. Levinson.
During its annual awards ceremony in October to recognize outstanding oversight by Inspectors General, the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) singled out IG officials at the three agencies specifically for “excellent” efforts that resulted in saving Recovery money. Federal oversight officials at the Department of Education, the General Services Administration, and the Department of the Interior were honored for their work in protecting Recovery Act funds from fraud, waste, or abuse.
Department of Education
Department of Education IG officials received two awards – one for improving the agency’s overall efficiency in administering Recovery Act requirements, the other for strengthening cash management practices of state governments receiving Recovery Act education grants. For the first award, the IG office developed a multi-pronged strategy that focused on external and internal audits, investigations of Recovery-related complaints, and development of a Recovery whistleblower investigations program. For the second, IG officials identified lags between the time state governments received Recovery education funds and disbursement to school districts, resulting in costly delays.
General Services Administration
A special team of auditors and analysts in the GSA IG office was honored for developing a new and more effective process of reviewing Recovery construction contracts that the agency has issued, mainly for new federal buildings. The team conducted “complex, multifaceted reviews” particularly of cost claims submitted by contractors. Audit adjustments resulted in a savings of more than $50 million.
Department of Interior
Carl A. Clinefelter (left), CIGIE vice chair, and Phyllis K. Fong, CIGIE chair, present award to Peter Y. Kim of the Department of Interior IG Office.
After the Recovery Act was signed into law in February 2009, the DOI IG office assembled the Recovery Oversight Office (ROO) to focus exclusively on the activities and programs associated with the $3 billion in Recovery funds that DOI was to receive. A CIGIE award went to ROO for its having created “innovative processes and procedures needed to conduct timely and meaningful oversight of DOI and its programs.” Those processes and procedures concentrated on avoiding problems before they occur and have become the basis for “a new model of oversight” for the agency.
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