Does Your Investigative Team Qualify as a “High Morale Team?”

Posted on March23, 2017
When your office is charged with investigating the agency you are a part of, you are at best looked at warily by the rest of the agency you oversee.  This can make positive employee morale especially challenging in investigative offices.  In order to keep staff morale high, the investigative team must focus on it even more extensively than most other agency groups.  Here are five tips to accomplish just that. Don’t Allow Toxic Personalities in Your Office. People who are…

Vacant Positions, Hiring Freeze Holding Federal IGs Back

Posted on March17, 2017
Any presidential transition causes disruption to the government, as new presidents have to appoint literally thousands of new executives across the entire range of federal agencies.  But with the pace of appointments running behind other transitions, and with so many major initiatives being pursued early in the presidency, the current slowdown is more pronounced than usual. Beyond the transition, however, there are two other major factors which are holding federal IGs back from being as effective as they could be.…

Recognize Excellent Investigators If You Want To Keep Them

Posted on March10, 2017
According to a Gallup study from several months ago, only one in three employees strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for any of the work they had done over the past week.  This is a bad sign for retention - employees who don’t feel recognized are twice as likely to say they plan on quitting their jobs within a year. Do your investigators feel like their contributions are appreciated and respected?  Here are a few tips on acknowledging…

Does Your Investigative Team Have a Strong Decision-Making Process?

Posted on March03, 2017
The publicly-available reports detailing an investigative agency’s results can make the work of an investigator seem black and white: a certain number of cases were opened, a percentage of those were substantiated, and a smaller percentage were referred for prosecution.  In-between each of those steps, however, are a number of grey areas where investigators must make tough decisions.  Does the team have enough evidence that a minor complaint should be dropped because it can’t be substantiated?  Is the evidence in…

People’s Strong Dissatisfaction with Government Increasing

Posted on February26, 2017
We’ve previously discussed citizens’ perceptions that corruption in the Federal Government is “widespread”.  While updated information on perceptions specific to corruption isn’t yet available, new poll results indicate that citizens’ eyes are still firmly on the government as they consider the challenges they face. Gallup poll data from January 2017 show that a growing percentage of people are highly dissatisfied with their government.  In fact, 11% of all people polled said that the government is the single most important problem…

Don’t Lose Time to a Non-Intuitive Case Management System

Posted on February15, 2017
If you’ve ever put together a list of requirements for a case management system, you’ve probably noticed that some things are easier to measure than others.  It’s easy to determine whether a piece of software can meet your technical requirements, whether it can store and retrieve the data types your agency requires, and whether it can import your existing data.  Feature sets are more complex, but with some work, you can request capabilities in a way that allows you to…

Increasing Hotline Tips by Appealing to Millennials’ Better Nature

Posted on February10, 2017
Over the last few years, Millennials have been subjected to a number of insulting descriptions.  Some magazine articles would have you believe they’re overly entitled narcissists who expect the world to conform to their every desire.  But for all of the negative things that are said about them, one positive trait always seems to emerge – Millennials want to make the world a better place.  And while this can be seen in the time and money they donate to their…

New Administration Planning to Retain IGs

Posted on February02, 2017
On February 1, news surfaced at a House Government Reform Committee that several Federal IGs had received notice from the incoming presidential administration on the 13th of January that they were being asked to remain in their posts only temporarily.  This is something the IG community has been taking seriously since the email was sent – Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the IG community "absolutely took it very seriously.  I think it’s fair to say that all of…

The IG Empowerment Act: Passed!

Posted on January25, 2017
In December, we posted a blog about the the IG Empowerment Act's pending death in 2016.  Fortunately, the Senate did take the bill up in their last few days in session, and HR 6450 became law on the 16th of December.  The bill's text is available here. This bill’s critical feature is allowing Inspectors General offices to review information pertinent to an investigation even if it is subject to privacy protections that have been used in the past to shield…

Using Twitter to Communicate IG Results to the Public

Posted on January22, 2017
Although Inspectors General do critical work, unfortunately many citizens are unaware of the work they do.  Part of this may be because effective investigators aren’t fond of braggadocio – they understand that their work requires discretion, and don’t make a habit of oversharing.  Sharing the results of completed investigations with the public, however, is a great way to help support the fact that IG offices save far more money than they cost, and that they do important work that’s worthy…