Inspectors General See Presidential Transition as Time of Opportunities and Challenges

(WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 20) — Inspectors general (IGs) look at the upcoming presidential transition as an opportunity to enlighten educate new leaders about their role in hopes of filling vacancies, according to Steering Through Transition, released this week by AGA and Kearney & Co. Federal IGs responded to 66 questions on topics including resource allocation, budget and operations, cybersecurity, data analytics, human resources, information technology auditing, and, particularly in light of the potentially forthcoming Inspector General Empowerment Act, access to information and the role of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

Survey findings determined many long-term challenges as well as opportunities:

  • Many IG positions remain unfilled due to factors including the lengthy confirmation process, which is political despite the non-political nature of the IG position.
  • The number of mandated Congressional or executive branch projects is increasing, and IGs estimate nearly a quarter of audit resources are spent on such directives rather than focused on areas of greater need within their agencies.
  • Hiring qualified candidates within the OIG remains difficult, as the primary job series requires accounting experience, which many IGs find unnecessary to perform largely performance-audit tasks.
  • IGs lack access to all information they need to do their jobs because of other regulations, but remain hopeful the IG Empowerment Act will pass.

IGs also weighed in on new and forthcoming legislation and policy:

  • IGs vary on the degree to which they help their agencies implement ERM. While they feel they can contribute to the process, they draw the line at helping establish ERM, as they fear it would interfere with their independence.
  • IGs are heavily relied upon during DATA Act implementation, as they can verify the accuracy of submitted data.

David M. Zavada, survey director and partner at Kearney & Company, said while many challenges were presented in the survey, the common theme is opportunity. “IGs see great value in their abilities to identify risk and improve agency operations, especially when a change in administration occurs,” Zavada said. “They see transition as a time to work together to move programs forward in a positive way.”

AGA CEO Ann M. Ebberts’ perspective after participating in several of the IG and IG staff interviews, is, “the IGs have a great deal of agency knowledge and data-informed opinions about key risk areas in the organization that should be shared with the incoming administration leaders. I’m hoping that these new leaders make it a priority to meet with, and listen to, what IGs have to offer.”

About AGA: AGA is the member organization for government-finance professionals. We lead and encourage change that benefits our field and all citizens. Our networking events, professional certification, publications and ongoing education help members build their skills and advance their careers.
About Kearney & Company: Kearney & Company is a Certified Public Accounting firm that provides auditing, accounting, and consulting services exclusively to the federal government. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., Kearney provides industry-leading insight to its customers at all levels of federal operations.


For More Information:
Anna Schumann | Communications and Marketing Manager
800.AGA.7211, ext. 308 |