PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDSFOROFFICES OF INSPECTOR GENERALAssociation of Inspectors GeneralHistoric Carpenters’ Hall320 Chestnut StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19106 Statement of Principles Quality Standards for Offices Quality Standards for Investigations Quality Standards for Inspections, Evaluations,and Reviews Quality Standards for AuditsMAY 2014REVISION
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Introduction.1Statement of Principles for Offices of Inspector General .3Basis of Legal Authority for an Office of the Inspector General. 3Quality Standards . 6Quality Standards for Offices of Inspector General . 7Introduction .7Independence .8Planning . 10Organizing . 12Staff Qualifications. 13Direction and Control. 15Coordination . 17Reporting . 18Confidentiality. 20Quality Assurance. 22Quality Standards for Investigations . 25Introduction . 25General Standards . 26A . Staff Qualifications. 26B . Independence . 26C . Due Professional Care . 26Qualitative Standards . 28A . Quality Control . 28B . Planning . 28C . Data Collection and Analysis . 29D . Evidence . 30E . Timeliness . 30F . Reporting . 30G . Confidentiality . 31H . Follow-Up . 31Quality Standards for Inspections, Evaluations, And Reviews . 33Introduction . 33General Standards . 34A . Staff Qualifications. 34B . Independence . 34C . Due Professional Care . 34Qualitative Standards . 37A . Quality Control . 37B . Planning . 37C . Data Collection and Analysis . 38D . Evidence . 39E . Timeliness . 40F . Fraud and Other Illegal Acts . 40G . Reporting . 41H . Confidentiality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41I.Follow-Up . 42Quality Standards for Audits.43Appendix . .45
Copyright 2001, 2004, 2014, Association of Inspectors General. All rights reserved.Except for use in a review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in any form or by anyelectronic, magnetic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, includingxerography, photocopying, recording and computer disc burning, and in any informationstorage and retrieval system, is forbidden without the permission of the Association ofInspectors General.Copies of this book may be purchased from the Association of Inspectors General, c/oJohn Jay College of Criminal Justice, 445 West 59th Street Room 3521n, New York, NY10019 or available online at www.inspectorsgeneral.org.
INTRODUCTIONThe Association of Inspectors General was organized on October 26, 1996. As statedin the Association's Articles of Organization, Constitution and Bylaws, the purpose ofthe Association is to:foster and promote public accountability and integrity in the generalareas of the prevention, examination, investigation, audit, detection,elimination and prosecution of fraud, waste and abuse through policyresearch and analysis; standardization of practices, policies, andethics, encouragement of professional development by providing andsponsoring educational programs, and the establishmen t ofprofessional qualifications, certification, and licensing.On October 27, 1999, the Board of Directors of the Association voted to create acommittee to establish generally accepted inspector general principles andstandards. The committee prepared these principles and standards following anopen procedure that allowed for due process. The committee drafted theprinciples and standards, basing the standards on quality standards for federalinspectors general issued by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency. Thedrafts were developed for use by the broad range of inspector general offices throughoutthe nation. Each of the drafts was then distributed to the federal, state, and localinspector general community for review and comment. The committee considered allcomments in detail, revised the drafts as appropriate, and presented the draftsto the Board of Directors. On May 16, 2001, the Board of Directors of the Associationfound that the draft documents represent generally accepted principles, qualitystandards, and best practices generally applicable to federal, state, and local officesof inspectors general. On that date the Board formally approved the following fivedocuments: Statement of Principles for Offices of Inspector GeneralQuality Standards for Offices of Inspector GeneralQuality Standards for InvestigationsQuality Standards for Inspections, Evaluations and ReviewsQuality Standards for AuditsThe appendix contains information about the committee and the process it followed,as well as subsequent amendments to the principles and quality standards.The Association recommends that offices of inspector general adopt these documentsfor their use with the following or similar language:The generally accepted principles and quality standards, formallyapproved by the Association of Inspectors General on 16 May 2001, asmost recently amended in May 2014, are hereby adopted by this officeinsofar as they do not conflict with statute, regulation, executive order,or other policy of this office.
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STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLESFOROFFICES OF INSPECTOR GENERALAccountability is key to maintaining public trust in our democracy. Inspectors general atall levels of government are entrusted with fostering and promoting accountability andintegrity in government. While the scope of this oversight varies among Offices ofInspectors General (OIGs), the level of public trust, and hence public expectation,embodied in these offices remains exceptionally high. The public expects OIGs to holdgovernment officials accountable for efficient, cost- effective government operationsand to prevent, detect, identify, expose and eliminate fraud, waste, corruption, illegalacts and abuse. This public expectation is best served by inspectors general when theyfollow the basic principles of integrity, objectivity, independence, confidentiality,professionalism, competence, courage, trust, honesty, fairness, forthrightness, publicaccountability and respect for others and themselves. Inspectors general are grantedsubstantial powers to perform their duties. In exercising these powers, inspectorsgeneral regard their offices as a public trust, and their prime duty as serving the publicinterest.By the nature of their work, OIGs are held to the same or higher expectations thanother government officials in using prudence with public resources. Because OIGsoften identify and describe wasteful use of public resources by organizations underscrutiny, they have a concomitant duty to conduct their own work in an efficient andeffective manner. Office of the Inspector General (OIG) work should adhere toprofessional standards and include quality controls to assure that all products are of thehighest possible quality. This requires an internal quality assurance program andsuggests periodic external quality reviews for each OIG.An OIG is judged by the results of its efforts and the timeliness, accuracy, objectivity,fairness, and usefulness of these results. These are the cornerstones of OIGaccountability. Qualitative and quantitative performance measures should bedeveloped measured internally, and reported to the public.BASIS OF LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR AN OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERALAn OIG should be formally created as a legal entity. The Association recommends thatthe OIG be established by statute or, if necessary, by executive order. The statuteshould establish the OIG's mandate, authority, and powers; provide for confidentiality ofrecords and proceedings; identify qualifications for the inspector general and staff;protect the office's independence; and provide protection to whistleblowers.3
Statement of Principles for Offices of Inspector GeneralA. Mandate: The statute should state the OIGs mission and identify theoperations, programs, departments, or agencies subject to the OIG'sjurisdiction.Commentary: The Association recommends that the legal authorityestablish a mission that encompasses prevention and detection of fraud,waste, and abuse; efficient and effective use of public resources; andpromotion of public integrity.B. Authority: The statute should authorize the OIG to conduct specificfunctions, such as: to audit, inspect, evaluate, and investigate the activities, recordsand individuals affiliated with contracts and procurementsundertaken by the governmental entity and any other official actor function of the governmental entity. to conduct criminal, civil and administrative investigations. to engage in prevention activities, including but not limited to:review of legislation; review of rules, regulations, policies,procedures, and transactions; training and education. to refer matters for further civil, criminal, and administrativeaction to appropriate administrative and prosecutorial agencies. to conduct joint investigations and projects with other oversightor law enforcement agencies. to issue public reports. to establish policies and procedures to guide functions andprocesses conducted by the OIG. to attend any meetings held by agencies. to recoup the cost of investigations from nongovernmentalentities involved in willful misconduct.C. Powers: The statute should grant the OIG specific powers and identify anylimits on those powers, such as: the power of subpoena for persons and documents,requirements for service of the subpoena, confidentiality ofsubpoenaed documents and testimony, and subpoenaenforcement provisions. law enforcement authority (police powers).4
Statement of Principles for Offices of Inspector General access to all records maintained by or available to anygovernmental entity relating in any way relate to the OIG’sduties and responsibilities. access to the head of any public entity, when necessary for anypurpose pertaining to the OIG’s responsibilities. access to testimony or documents from any individual, firm, ornongovernmental entity relating to the duties andresponsibilities of the OIG. require public employees to report to the OIG informationregarding fraud, waste, corruption, illegal acts, and abuse.D. Confidentiality: The statute should authorize the OIG to maintain appropriateconfidentiality of records and, to the extent practicable, of the identities ofindividuals who provide information to the OIG, unless it is necessary to makesuch records or identities public in the performance of his/her duties. Thestatute should impose penalties for breach of confidentiality.E. Inspector general and staff qualifications: The statute should providerequirements for the position of inspector general and staff. The inspectorgeneral should be selected without regard to political affiliation on the basis ofintegrity, capability for strong leadership, and demonstrated ability inaccounting, auditing, financial analysis, law, management analysis, publicadministration, investigation, or criminal justice administration or otherappropriate fields. The inspector general should hold at appointment, or berequired to obtain within a time certain after appointment, certification as aCertified Inspector General .Commentary: The Association established the Certified Inspector General (CIG)program in 1999 after identifying six areas of core competency. Qualifiedparticipants (inspectors general and experienced senior staff) can earn the CIGdesignation by attending the Inspector General Institute . Highly qualifiedinstructors present segments on the following six areas of core competency: Context of the inspector general functionEthicsPublic management issuesLegal issuesAudits, inspections, and reviewsInvestigating fraud, waste, and abuse A Certified Inspector General is required to adhere to the continuing professionaleducation standard contained herein, in order to retain their certification.5
Statement of Principles for Offices of Inspector GeneralThe staff of the OIG should collectively possess the variety of knowledge,skills, and experience needed to accomplish the OIG mission. The OIGshould ensure that staff receive appropriate training and that OIG staff attainand maintain appropriate professional licensure and certification.F. Independence: The statute should contain provisions to help establish andmaintain the independence of the inspector general and the OIG. Thestatute should address: Appointment and removal - Procedures should be established forthe appointment of the inspector general and for the removal ofthe inspector general only for cause. Term - The inspector general should be appointed for a fixedterm. Organizational placement - The OIG should be placed in thegovernmental structure to maximize independence fromoperations, programs, policies, and procedures over which theOIG has authority. Funding - The OIG should be funded through a mechanism thatwill provide adequate funding to perform its mission withoutsubjecting it to internal or external impairments on itsindependence.G. Whistleblower protection - The statute should provide protections tocomplainants who, as a result of their complaints to the OIG, might be subjectto retaliation by their employers.QUALITY STANDARDSOIGs should strive to deliver outstanding products that are timely, objective,accurate, balanced, and presented in such a way that appropriate officials will beable to act on the information conveyed. Conclusions and recommendations shouldbe well thought out and adequately supported by objective evidence. In order toensure that these characteristics of competence are routinely integrated into OIGwork, the Board of Directors of the Association formally approved the following qualitystandards, and any further revisions: Quality Standards for Offices of Inspector GeneralQuality Standards for InvestigationsQuality Standards for Inspections, Evaluations and ReviewsQuality Standards for Audits6
QUALITY STANDARDSFOROFFICES OF INSPECTOR GENERALINTRODUCTIONPurposeThis document contains quality standards for the management, operation, andconduct of Offices of Inspector General (OIGs). They have been formulated andapproved by the Association of Inspectors General. The standards are advisory andare not intended to impose requirements. They are for Office of the Inspector General(OIG) use to guide the conduct of official duties in a professional manner.ScopeOIGs are established with generally similar missions, but often under differingauthorities and mandates. These differences, as well as other factors, may affect thepractices of various offices and, consequently, the applicability of standards to theseoffices.BackgroundIn accomplishing their missions, OIGs use a variety of approaches. For example,audits, investigations, and inspections are used as a basis for evaluating agencyprograms and operations, for identifying and presenting for prosecution criminal andcivil wrongdoing, and addressing administrative misconduct. Reviews of allegationsreceived through hotlines and other means help to identify high-risk areas anddetermine where internal controls should be strengthened. Some OIGs use a varietyof techniques and titles, such as fraud control programs, inspections, operationalsurveys, and other special activities to focus attention on agency needs to improveoperations. Reviews of legislation and regulations serve to strengthen controls andensure that the public interest is protected without imposing unnecessary burdens.Reports to public officials, agency heads, agency management, legislative bodies,and prosecutorial authorities keep appropriate officials apprised of the results of OIGactivities.Basic PremisePublic office carries with it a responsibility to apply public resources economically,efficiently, and effectively with the integrity necessary to maintain the public trust.Because OIGs have a unique mission in government related to public officeresponsibility, the Association has formally approved the following general qualitystandards.7
Quality Standards for Offices of Inspector GeneralINDEPENDENCEA . General StandardThe inspector general and OIG staff involved in performing or supervising anyassignment should be free from personal or external impairments to independenceand should constantly maintain an independent attitude and appearance.B . BackgroundThe inspector general is responsible for establishing and maintainingindependence so that OIG opinions, conclusions, judgments, andrecommendations will be impartial and viewed by others as impartial. Theinspector general and OIG staff should consider not only whether they areindependent and whether their own attitudes and beliefs permit them to beindependent, but also whether there is anything about their situation which mightlead others to question their independence. All situations deserve considerationsince it is important that the OIG be as independent as possible and impartial infact and in appearance.The inspector general and OIG staff need to consider both personal and externalimpairments. If either of these affect the OIG's ability to perform its workimpartially, the inspector general should decline to perform the work and report thecircumstances to the appropriate official. If the inspector general cannot decline toperform the work, the impairment should be disclosed in any resulting report,along with any potential impact the impairment might have on the outcome of thereport’s conclusions.C . Personal ImpairmentsThere are circumstances in which the Inspector General and OIG staff cannot beimpartial because their personal situations may create actual or perceived conflictsof interest. In such situations, the OIG staff who are affected by thesecircumstances should disqualify themselves from an OIG review and allow thework to continue without them. Personal impairments may include, but are notlimited to, the following: Official, professional, personal, or financial relationships that mightappear to lead the OIG to limit the extent of the work, to limitdisclosure, or to alter the outcome of the work. Preconceived ideas toward activities, individuals, groups,organizations, objectives, or particular programs that could bias theoutcome of the work.8
Quality Standards for Offices of Inspector General Previous involvement, especially recent involvement, in a decisionmaking or management capacity that could affect the work. Biases that may affect the objectivity of the OIG staff member in theperformance work. Conduct of a review by an individual who had previously performedwork subject to review.D. External ImpairmentsFactors external to the OIG can restrict the efforts or interfere with the OIGs abilityto form independent and objective opinions and conclusions. For example, underthe following conditions work could be adversely affected and the OIG would nothave complete freedom to make an independent and objective judgment:1. Interference or undue influence in the selection, appointment, andemployment of OIG staff.2. Restrictions on funds or other resources dedicated to the OIG, such astimely, independent legal counsel, that could prevent the OIG fromperforming essential work.3. Interference or undue influence in the OIGs selection of what is to beexamined, determination of scope and timing of work or approach to beused, the appropriate content of any resulting report, or resolution ofaudit findings.4. Influences that jeopardize continued employment of the inspectorgeneral or individual OIG staff for reasons other than competency orthe need for OIG services.5. Interference with OIG access to documents or individuals necessaryto perform OIG work.6. Improper political pressures that affect the selection of areas forreview, the performance of those reviews, and the objective reportingof conclusions without fear of censure.9
Quality Standards for Offices of Inspector GeneralPLANNINGA. General StandardThe OIG should maintain a planning system for assessing the nature, scope,trends, vulnerabilities, special problems, and inherent risks of agency programsand operations and for use in establishing the goals, objectives, and tasks to beaccomplished by the OIG within a specific time period.B. BackgroundThe inspector general is responsible for ensuring that the resources available tothe OIG are used as efficiently and effectively as possible. Execution of thisresponsibility requires a planning process designed to maximize the impact of theOIG in detecting and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse and in encouragingeconomy, efficiency, and effectiveness, with the commitment of resources neededto accomplish each OIG task.C. Elements of the Planning ProcessThe OIG should carefully consider the universe subject to the OIG's jurisdiction.Analysis of this universe will identify the nature of programs and operations, theirscope and dollar magnitude, their staffing and budgetary trends, their perceivedvulnerabilities, and their inherent risks.The OIG should develop a strategy for screening those programs and operationsidentified as potential subjects for review. The strategy should be designed to OIGresources effectively. Total OIG capabilities, programs, and resources, should beconsidered in developing this strategy, which may encompass activities such asaudits, investigations, inspections, operational surveys, vulnerability assessments,internal control reviews, and fraud control studies. The OIG should also considerthe plans of other organizations. Strategic planning, in this context, need not belimited to a specific time period and should be a flexible process that allows forappropriate changes.Based on the above analysis, the OIG should set priorities and create actionplans. Because resources are rarely sufficient to meet requirements, the OIG mustchoose among competing priorities. In making these choices, OIG considerationsmay include:1. Vulnerabilities d2. Needs and priorities of the agency, legislative bodies, and otherappropriate officials.10
Quality Standards for Offices of Inspector General3. Benefits likely to result from OIG review, such as better internal controls;improved economy, efficiency, and effectiveness; detection andprevention of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement; and costrecovery.4. Probable cost-effectiveness of each selection, (OIG resources that wouldbe expended compared to anticipated benefits).5. Impacts of alternative OIG review approaches: for example, identifyingmajor systemic problems as opposed to concentrating on individualmanifestations of these systemic problems.D. PreventionOIG planning should incorporate a strategy to identify the causes of fraud, waste,and abuse, and a commitment to help overcome these problems. OIG preventionefforts may include:1. A routine procedure for OIG staff to identify and report preventionopportunities identified in their work, and for OIG managers to refer theseto appropriate officials.2. Special awareness and training initiatives designed to orient public orprivate program personnel to systemic weaknesses in their programsand operations;3. Reviews and comments on initial designs of new programs andoperations;4. Analyses of audit, investigation, and other OIG reports to identify trendsand patterns;5. Education and training programs to build the capacity of public officialsand other to operate efficiently, effectively, and ethically; and6. An effective means for tracking recommendations.11
Quality Standards for Offices of Inspector GeneralORGANIZINGA . General StandardThe inspector general is responsible for organizing the OIG to assure efficientand effective deployment of the OIG's resources.B . BackgroundThe fact that each OIG is different and approaches its mission within widelydiffering contexts precludes prescription of a consistent organizational structurefor OIGs. An inspector general may wish to emphasize such areas as fraudcontrol, investigations, vulnerability assessments, internal controls, inspections,operational surveys, or computer security. The following section provides severalbasic organizational principles that the inspector general may apply.C . Organizational Principles1. Duties and responsibilities should be clearly assigned within the OIGstructure. There need not be a separate organizational unit for eachduty and responsibility. The inspector general should appoint staffneeded to perform the OIG mission effectively.2. The OIG organizational structure should foster coordinated,balanced, and integrated accomplishment of the OIG mission, goals,and objectives.3. Recruiting, staffing, and training should support the OIG mission andorganizational structure.4. Quality assurance and internal evaluation functions should be keptas independent as possible of the OIG operational units. Wherelimited size or resources preclude such organizationalindependence, quality assurance and evaluation assessmentsshould be conducted by personnel not assigned to the OIG unitsreviewed.12
Quality Standards for Offices of Inspector GeneralSTAFF QUALIFICATIONSA . General StandardOIG staff should collectively possess the variety of knowledge, skills, andexperience needed to accomplish the OIG mission.B . BackgroundToday, in a period of rapid technological change and unprecedentedmanagement demands, special levels of staff competence are neededthroughout government. Because of the unique nature of their mission, OIGsrequire staff capable of efficiently and effectively dealing with a multitude ofdifferent programs and activities, many of them representing extremely complexand sophisticated areas of expertise. OIG objectives cannot be achieved withoutOIG staff who are professionally and technically qualified to accomplish this.C . Basic QualificationsThe qualifications noted below relate to the co
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 445 West 59th Street Room 3521n, New York, NY 10019 or available online at www.inspectorsgeneral.org. INTRODUCTION The Association of Inspectors General was organized on October 26, 1996. As stated in the Association's Articles of Organization, Constitution and Bylaws, the purpose of .