Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency vice chair Allison Lerner and David Berry, co-chair of the CIGIE 40th Commemoration Working Group discuss how the IG community has improved since the late 1970s, and why it’s important to reflect on how far they’ve come.
October 12, 2018 marks 40 years since the signing of the Inspector General Act. The act created several inspector general offices, and tasked them with investigating internal affairs at agencies across the executive branch. Allison Lerner, inspector general at the National Science Foundation and vice chair of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, says that IGs have become a multiagency community. “We started in 1978 as an experiment… now there’s 73 of us, and there’s legislation pending before Congress to add a 74th. We have grown substantially over time. We have also, through the course of those 40 years, become a real community,” Lerner said. “Whether you’re the Department of Defense IG, or a one-person IG at the Appalachian Regional Commission, you deal with many of the same issues and challenges.” David Berry, inspector general at the National Labor Relations Board and co-chair of the 40th Commemoration Working Group at CIGIE, says that it’s important to look back, because it could improve how the IG community operates in the future. “One of the best ways to improve is to reflect upon what it is you’ve done and what you could have done better, and then apply those lessons to the environment that is constantly changing,” Berry said. “Our society is changing, our government is changing, and our oversight role is evolving. If we don’t pay attention to where we have been, we may not provide effective oversight in the future.”