Effective performance measurement of state and local inspectors general: a multi-methods analysis of current operations and a scorecard for future application
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Henson, Cassandra R.
Type of Workxii, 169 leaves
DepartmentUniversity of Baltimore. College of Public Affairs
ProgramUniversity of Baltimore. Doctor of Public Administration
RightsThis item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by the University of Baltimore for non-commercial research and educational purposes.
Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs) have been a part of American government since the 1700s but these organizations have evolved a great deal over the years. The first military models gave way to the federal-level models, which have framed the industry in place today. The Inspector General Act of 1978 is the official legislation that established OIGs as an official function within the federal government. Initially, there were twelve inspectors general focusing on major federal agencies. Today there are approximately seventy-three federal offices serving major federal agencies, military branches, boards and commissions, all charged with the mission of mitigating unethical behavior. Although federal models laid the foundation for the industry, there is a growing numbers of non-federal offices at the state and local levels. These organizations continue the underlying mission of fighting fraud, waste and abuse but must do so within different operating constraints. Non-federal offices must perform their routine functions with limited funding and often-times increased public scrutiny. Performance measurement and organizational effectiveness must now be considered as IGs, like other public service agencies, strive to show public value. As agencies are tasked to do more with less, OIGs must constantly improve operations by focusing on the concepts of economy, effectiveness and efficiency. The purpose of this research is to assess the current operations of state-level and local-level offices, and suggest possible improvements to maximize the overall impacts of these organizations on public administration. These suggestions were presented as a balanced scorecard model for ongoing performance measurement and planning. A mixed-methods approach was used to gather data from research participants. The first phase of the research was an electronic survey, distributed via email invitation to the professionals in the IG community. The survey was designed to capture information on the participant as well as structural, operating and performance measurement data on their OIG. The second phase of the research was a semi-structured personal interview with volunteers from phase one. The questions asked in this phase of the research project were designed to gain deeper insight to the offices, revealing what is important strategically to the leaders of the organization. The third and final phase of the research was the secondary data analysis of the information found on the various OIG public websites. Results were analyzed and triangulated to reveal patterns and trends utilized for the balanced scorecard model. Research results show no significant differences in operations due to OIG type or oversight. All offices did not report the same capabilities and therefore contained different categories of staff. Therefore, a typology to be applied to all non-federal OIGs was not possible based on this project. All stressed the importance of well-trained staff and the importance of a sound mission, although there were differences in the methods by which the mission was achieved. OIGs participating in the study focused on four strategic themes which surfaced in all phases of the project: (1) performance measurement, (2) mission and objectives identification, (3) financial and human resources availability and (4) reporting and communication (transparency). These themes were subsequently included in the balanced scorecard model.