Inspectors General Worried by Tight Budgets, Sequestration

The survey respondents professed faith in technological tools such as data analytics to help assess risk and curb waste, fraud and abuse. The survey respondents professed faith in technological tools such as data analytics to help assess risk and curb waste, fraud and abuse. Olesya Feketa/

A trail-blazing survey of the inspector general community showed wide concern over the impact of budget cuts and sequestration, along with a professed faith in technological tools such as data analytics to help assess risk and curb waste, fraud and abuse.

Released on Tuesday by the Association of Government Accountants, supported by Kearney and Co., the first such survey found that more than two-thirds of inspectors general view limited resources as their top challenge, particularly when they feel pressure to hire specialized talent to confront a changing technological landscape. A related challenge is the continuing ability to issue audit reports that are timely and that improve programs and operations.

Fully 85 percent of respondents identified information technology as the area most in need of fresh hires.

Though many IG offices, like the agencies they oversee, have proactively moved funds to ease the impact of across-the-board budget cuts from sequestration, most reported they are operating under a hiring freeze, or modified freeze with one hire for every three vacancies. One office cut its audit staff by 13 percent, while another estimated its full-time equivalent headcount is at its lowest since 1978, when IGs were created.

The anonymous survey consisted of an in-person interview instrument given to a random selection of current and former IG staff governmentwide.

“Financial statement audits provided significant value in the improvement of internal controls and data integrity in financial and other related program areas,” AGA Executive Director Relmond Van Daniker said of the survey results. “As data sources and relationships are refined and capabilities to process and synthesize data are improved, the IG community should greatly benefit. When this relationship is in place, it sets a positive tone at the top and much can be accomplished on behalf of the agency.”

David Zavada, a Kearney partner who helped direct the survey, added, “By leveraging technology, collaborating and sharing more broadly, and introducing earlier risk identification and reporting, IGs are striving to maintain effective oversight in an uncertain and changing environment.”

(Image via Olesya Feketa/

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.