State IG Linick pioneered #GFPFE efforts for USDOJ when he co-founded the National Procurement Fraud Task Force and was instrumental in getting the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force stood up before becoming the first IG for FHFA-OIG (nominated by Presidents Bush and Obama). After building that agency from the ground up while investigating some of the largest schemes in the nation’s history, he was tapped by the Obama Administration for State IG where, despite chronic under staffing, he has been building capacilities by surrounding himself with experienced fraud enforcers who are accustomed to doing what they do anywhere in the world.
USAID IG Barr is one of the most experienced overseers of government spending and acquisition in the business. Prior to being nominated by President Obama and confirmed in 2015, Barr spent 25 years as Director of Acquisition team at GAO along with other assignments and then Deputy IG at DOT, a very large and influential OIG. USAID OIG is also viewed my many insiders as chronically underfunded and it’s agents might be in Liberia on one day investigating a grant theft scheme and in Madagascar two days later reviewing Millennium Challenge Fund grantees
Both IG’s now have global responsibilities and have spent careers hawking over massive spends by agencies that vary in effectiveness. They are widely respected and play a role whether intentionally or unintentionally in forming consensus in the OIG community. I expect they will stay laser focused on #GFPFE, possibly focusing on their respective agencies poor ability to track grants, procurements cross-embassy and cross-USAID mission, as well as cross-program. Particularly in State, because of overlapping AOR’s, it is often the case that one intra-agency doesn’t know what the other is spending on. This remains a significant challenge.
If I can rearrange my schedule, I will be watching today, reading the tea leaves.
State OIG and USAID OIG would be logical agencies of focus if our thesisis correct that a Trump Administration is looking to wring fraud, waste and abuse from the system by reinvigorating #GFPFE. These two agencies carry additional benefits if your goal is also to embolden international enforcement.
Enforcement initiatives can be built around procurements and grants at Embassies and USAID compounds, the benefits of which (and deterrence) can then spill over into other enforcement areas. Counterterrorism, inside threat iniatives, Programs to help protect secrets (whether classified, computer security, IP protection, trade secrets) for Government, contractors, grantees and US companies operating overseas, complex VISA fraud schemes to include human trafficking, child sex trafficking and child porn production (which can be a “value add” to increasing human trafficking efforts overseas) it also stimulates the creation of important methodologies for collecting information on overseas businesses and financial transactions.
In short, if you look at the DOD constellation of overseas assets and their functions that are protected by Army CID, USAF-OSI, NCIS, and DCIS, that system functions at a higher level of effectiveness than the current structure responsible for protecting Embassies, USAID, Peace Corps operations. State OIG and USAID have always had to do too much with less, the question is will their OIG’s and OIG’s be viewed as a New Administration priority.
Oversight of the Department of State and Foreign Operations Programs
Thursday, March 9, 2017 10:00 AM in 2362-A Rayburn
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Ann Calvaresi Barr
Inspector General, U.S. Agency for International Development
Inspector General, U.S. Department of State and Broadcasting Board of Governors