Phyliss Fong, chairperson for CIGIE, told the DorobekINSIDER that the work of IGs is often “unsung.”
When they think of auditors, most people might envision someone coming into the office and looking at records. But some auditors’ work has put their life and well-being at risk, Fong said. Award winner Paul Converse, an auditor for the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, was seriously injured while on the job and later died.
Among the other winners were the Census Bureau IG for discovering the agency was paying temporary workers who were not doing work, and the Securities and Exchange for investigating the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.
The most prestigious award went to the Defense Department IG for finding “significant issues” in funding for security forces in Afghanistan, Fong said.
The awards are an opportunity to display best practices of IGs, Fong said.
“One of the main purposes of the council of IGs is for all of us to get together regularly and trade info and trade analytical and investigative techniques … to go after some of these very creative schemes,” Fong said.
IGs might be viewed with some weariness from agencies, but Fong said IGs’ mission is to help the agency do its job better.
“Deep down the mission of the IG is to help a program official, the head of an agency, to help Congress really dig into the issues that are on the table and come up with solutions to make programs better,” Fong said.