The VA inspector general’s office, in a move that other IG offices could follow, has expanded the visibility of its work by starting to announce and post online the results of probes that don’t lead to issuance of formal reports but instead result in internal “administrative advisories” to departmental leadership.
“It is our intention to maintain transparency with veterans, Congress, and the public by releasing information related to administrative investigative work completed by OIG,” the office said in announcing the policy and beginning those releases, even regarding investigations in which it concludes the allegations that led to the probes were meritless.
Within days of the announcement, the office publicly released three such advisories. One involved an allegation of excessive travel by an official and an assistant; the IG concluded that the travel was justified by official duties. A second involved an allegation of prohibited personnel practices in a hiring action; the IG concluded that the position was properly announced and there was no pre-selection.
The third involved an allegation of a conflict of interest between an official’s duties and a charity; in that case, the IG said it made a referral to the Justice Department but it declined to prosecute.