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…

Staying On Top of Your Investigative Team’s Performance

Posted on January13, 2017
As an investigative office, you’re probably required to report certain data to an oversight committee regularly.  But while that data provides insight into the long-term performance of your agency, there are also benefits to reviewing results more regularly than the mandated once-a-quarter or once-every-six-months.   Here are a few data points that your case management software should be delivering to your inbox weekly.       Case Volume Data - This top-line data should be among the easiest information to access…

Is Your Investigations Group Prepared for Workforce Turnover?

Posted on January09, 2017
Government employee turnover is always highest around new administrations coming into power, and this year shows no sign of being any different.  If you haven’t yet faced an exodus, what can you do to prepare yourself for coming retirements?   Here are a few tips to ensure that your team continues to function well through departures, gaps in coverage and the integration of new team members. Design and Document Standard Operating Procedures:  The worst time to discover that there’s no description…

High-Performance Investigative Teams – eBook

Posted on December26, 2016
Investigative offices are judged on both the quality and quantity of the casework they perform, which makes efficiency an important part of their success.  We've recently released an eBook to help your team improve efficiency and focus.  This eBook includes tactics that have been studied and proven to generate better team results, and many of these tips are quick and easy to implement. Click here to access this eBook.

Improving Your OIG’s Results by Increasing External Engagement

Posted on December18, 2016
While many of the best tips to investigators come from employees of the agency they oversee, external tips are valuable as well.  This is especially true with fraud cases, where parties outside of the agency are often involved in the wrongdoing.  Here are a couple of ways to increase the public’s engagement with your investigative office. Make sure you are visible online The quality of websites for IGs (and other investigative offices) varies substantially.  Some sites are well maintained, with…

The Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016 – All Means All

Posted on December09, 2016
One recent major impediment for Federal IGs completing their jobs is an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel stating that IGs can’t access information that’s protected by privacy laws.  This includes grand jury testimony, credit information, wiretap information, and other similar sensitive data. This has only been corrected for a handful of agencies.  According to FCO, 66 federal Inspector Generals can still be blocked from accessing this data for the agency, potentially allowing them to hide behind these ‘sensitive…

Maintaining the Independence of Your Inspector General’s Office

Posted on December02, 2016
  One of the most important traits of an IG office is its independence.  It can be very difficult to provide oversight for an agency if they have the ability to retaliate by cutting an IG’s funding.  But unfortunately, the relationship between an agency and its IG is often neither fully connected nor independent, but somewhere between the two.  While an IG reports to Congress, for instance, they often share resources, even if it’s just a building.  Even sharing a…

IG Survey Highlights Damage of Inefficient Hiring Processes

Posted on November21, 2016
A recent survey of Inspectors General offices by the Association of Government Accountants highlighted just how much agencies are being hindered by the federal hiring process.  Among the challenges noted: The hiring process doesn’t provide a qualified pool of candidates 30% of the time Initiating the hiring process is “long, cumbersome, and inefficient” according to IGs It isn’t clear whether a writing sample can even be required to apply Even when qualified candidates are identified, they often accept other positions…

US Citizens See Corruption as a Major Problem

Posted on November18, 2016
This news might be good job security for Inspectors General, but it’s a distressing fact: US citizens see our government as more corrupt than statistics indicate it actually is.  Gallup’s most recent poll, conducted over a year ago, finds that three-quarters of US Citizens describe corruption as “widespread” in their government.   Rasmussen’s most recent poll, conducted in early 2016, found an even higher number – 81% reported the Federal Government is “somewhat” or “very” corrupt”. Fortunately, it’s not accurate to…

Interrupting the Fraud Triangle

Posted on November13, 2016
From time to time, it’s helpful to take a step back from day-to-day investigative work and consider how some of the more significant criminology theories should impact decision-making.  One of the more established theories in fraud investigations is the Fraud Triangle.  According to this theory, there are three things which must be present to precipitate a fraud: Pressure, Perceived Opportunity, and Rationalization. First, a person must have a pressure they need to solve.  This pressure is often, but not always,…