Monitoring Government: Inspectors General and the Search for Accountability

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Author: Paul Charles Light

ISBN-10: 0815752555

ISBN-13: 9780815752554

Category: Auditing

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Until the Department of Housing and Urban Development scandal in 1989, the public knew little about federal inspectors general (IGs). Suddenly, Congress, the press, and the public were seeking answers to a scandal that challenged the role of the IGs in ensuring government accountability. Within days, the IGs were front-page news, and greater emphasis was placed on fraud, waste, and abuse as a measure of whether government could be held accountable.
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Introduction1Why Study IGs?2Methods of Inquiry4Plan of the Book5Pt. 1Frameworks1The Newest Monitors11Paths to Accountability12Monitoring toward Accountability16Conclusion: An Era of Limits212The Rise of the IG Concept23An Introduction to the IG Act23A Brief History25A Statutory Prototype28A Nonstatutory Alternative31Conclusion: A Barbed Wire Fence35Pt. 2Designing the Concept3Why Congress Acted39The Three Horsemen of the IG Concept39The Politics of Fraud Busting43The Information Imperative48Conclusion: The Choice of Compliance574Creating a Strong Right Arm58What Might Have Been59The IG Job Description61Institutionalized Ambivalence68Pt. 3Implementing the Act5The Class of 197981Carter's Choices82An Abbreviated Term90Conclusion: Too Much to Do, Too Little Time1006Glory Days102Fear of Firing103Getting Started ... Again104The Seeds of Alliance111Conclusion: A Match Made in Heaven?1187Backlash121The Class of 1985121Fine-Tuning128Into the Bush Years131Conclusion: Uncertain Futures145Pt. 4Organizing for Accountability8A Drift toward Investigation149Auditors and Investigators150The Investigatory Impulse160Conclusion: Protecting IGs1699The Organizational IGs175An Organizational History of the OIGs177The Organizational Future189The IGs as Institutional Memory200Pt. 5Questions of Effectiveness10Measuring the Impact of IGs203Measures of Effectiveness204Conclusion: Questions of Performance22011The Future of the IG Concept224The IG Act Innovations225A Reprise on Reform229A Safe Harbor for Analysis234Appendix: Interview Contacts236Notes241Index265

\ BooknewsLight (public affairs, U. of Minnesota) covers the history of IGs, political tensions, a case study of HUD--the cataclysm that brought IGs out of the shadows, and prospects for future impact upon the federal monster. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)\ \