Semiannual Report: October 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011
OIG-11-4: May 24, 2011
Tonya R. Ford
This is a publication by GAO's Inspector General that concerns internal GAO operations. In accordance with Section 5 of the Government Accountability Office Act of 2008 (GAO Act), this is the semiannual report for the 6-month period ending March 31, 2011. During the reporting period, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) continued its efforts to finalize and implement the revised OIG order to reflect our statutory role and responsibilities while continuing to conduct audits and investigations. We are in the process of considering and responding to comments we received on the revised draft OIG order and making changes in the order, as appropriate. In addition, we completed an internal review of our quality assurance framework and are in the process of taking steps to further strengthen our processes and controls in response to this review. We recognize that other changes to our quality assurance framework may be needed as we finalize our OIG order and complete our transition to the role of a statutory OIG. As a result, we do not anticipate participating in a peer review until we have completed this transition and have conducted and fully addressed any recommendations resulting from at least two additional internal inspections.
During the reporting period, we issued two public reports--an assessment of the adequacy of GAO's controls to prevent and detect employee misuse and delinquency of government travel cards and an evaluation of GAO's information security program and practices for fiscal year 2010. Regarding our efforts to identify potential fraud, waste, and abuse, the OIG's hotline is our primary source of complaints. The OIG receives hotline complaints through a variety of sources, such as through its toll-free hotline number and e-mail. We had a total of 129 complaints, 7 of which were open at the start of this 6-month reporting period and 122 new complaints received during the period. The 7 open cases from the prior semiannual reporting period covered a wide range of matters, such as issues related to telework, travel voucher claims, and the day care facility located at GAO headquarters. Of these 7 cases, we closed 4--2 because of no basis for further action and 2 after conducting investigations. Three remained open at the end of the period. We referred the results of one investigation to GAO's Office of Workforce Relations to determine whether any administrative action is appropriate. In addition, our investigation into the daycare facility resulted in our suggesting that management consider expanding GAO's role in overseeing the facility. During the current reporting period, we received 122 new complaints through our hotline and other sources. Fifty-eight of the 122 complaints concerned matters related to other federal agencies and were referred to GAO's FraudNet--a governmentwide hotline operated by GAO staff that receives complaints of fraud, waste, and abuse of federal funds. Of the remaining 64 complaints received during the reporting period, we (1) closed 4 complaints after we conducted investigations and combined 3 other complaints into ongoing investigations. The closed investigations included issues relating to unemployment insurance payments for employees of a GAO contractor, purchase card fraud, employee misconduct, and a whistleblower complaint regarding a GAO audit. One of these investigations resulted in an employee being counseled, and, following another investigation, an employee resigned from GAO before the agency could take administrative action. (2) closed an additional 44 complaints when we determined there was no basis for additional action, sometimes after completing preliminary investigative work. In one of these 44, we provided assistance to the District of Columbia OIG on an investigation. (3) referred 5 complaints--4 to other GAO units and 1 to another agency--for action that involved such issues as e-mail scams, employee misconduct, and an information request. (4) continued efforts on the remaining 8 open complaints.