Today, on the one-year anniversary of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's "War on Bureaucracy," Inspector General of the Department of Defense Joseph E. Schmitz released the results of an independent assessment that points the way to a transformation of the Office of the Inspector General. This assessment is in the spirit of the secretary's call to reform wasteful processes and systems, when he said, "Every dollar we spend was entrusted to us by a taxpayer who earned it by creating something of value with sweat and skill."
Schmitz initiated the independent assessment as one of his first actions after being sworn into office on April 2, 2002. The assessment team was assembled by Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI) of Alexandria, Va., who were assigned the objective of conducting "an independent review to assess the overall effectiveness of the Office of Inspector General," including how the office "satisfies its legal, ethical, and oversight obligations within the Department of Defense."
This team was composed of retired military personnel and attorneys with extensive Inspector General experience. Starting its 90-day assessment on April 21, 2002, the team conducted a "bottom to top" review that involved 316 individual interviews, 34 seminars with junior, middle, and senior grade staff that reached approximately 643 of the 1,257 employees, and visits to 26 field locations. The assessment included a not-for-attribution survey that received 527 voluntary written responses.
The assessment team made ten major recommendations ranging from ways to restructure and carry out the mission of the Inspector General to transforming and reinvigorating the internal ethical culture of both employees and senior management.
Schmitz stated his efforts to transform the Office of the Inspector General would build upon many of the assessment's recommendations as well as his own evaluations. In working to transform his organization, Schmitz called to mind the words of Rumsfeld's "War on Bureaucracy" speech one year ago: "Just as we must transform America's military capability to meet changing threats, we must transform the way the department works and what it works on. We must build a department where each of the dedicated people here can apply their immense talents to defend America, where they have the resources, information and freedom to perform."
A copy of the assessment team's report is available at http://www.dodig.osd.mil/IGInformation/FinalReport.pdf [not available].