New U.S. Government Website for Federal Inspector General Reports

A new federal government website, Oversight.gov, gathers together public reports from Federal Inspectors General who are members of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE). The site allows searches by individual federal agencies or departments, across agencies, by date, by report number, and by keyword. The site also offers information on pending investigations. The role of Federal Inspectors General is to prevent and detect waste, fraud, and abuse relating to their agency’s programs and operations, and to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the agency’s operations and programs.

OIGs are located within their agencies, but under the Inspector General Act of 1978 (IGA), 5 U.S.C.A. App. 3, § 1, they must conduct their audits, investigations, evaluations, and special reviews as “independent and objective units” of the agencies. Id. § 2.

A recent report by the Inspector General of the Securities & Exchange Commission concluded that a substantial fee paid by the SEC for a plan to move its data centers represented “funds that the SEC may have wasted”:

In 2008, the SEC paid $162,000 for a contractor-developed plan to relocate the
agency’s data centers. However, the SEC did not follow the plan’s recommended steps or timeline to ensure the 2012-2013 data center relocations were properly executed and that the SEC’s data center providers, “D1” and “D2,” could meet the agency’s needs before awarding contracts and migrating data, thereby exposing SEC data to vulnerabilities.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Inspector General, Executive Summary, Audit of the SEC’s Management of Its Data Centers, Report No. 543, Sept. 29, 2017 (Redacted for Public Use).

The SEC announced only a couple of weeks ago that its company data had been breached a year ago. The hack of the SEC’s system for handling corporate filings intended for investors, known as EDGAR, has raised concerns that the hackers may have gained advance looks at filings and engaged in insider trading.  It is unclear whether the problems with SEC data centers  are connected to the breach.

Related Reading:

Christopher Rubager, U.S. Senators Grill SEC Chair on Disclosure of Data Breach, Washington Post, Sept. 29, 2017.

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