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Thursday, October 23, 2008

IG community honors auditors and investigators

Nearly 100 federal employees and agency teams tasked with fighting government fraud and waste received kudos from two top councils on integrity and efficiency on Thursday.

"Despite the transformation that requires all of us to be able to work in a dynamic environment, we have remained focused on our core mission," said Daniel Levinson, inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department and chairman of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency awards program. The 11th annual ceremony, held in Washington, coincided with the 30th anniversary of the 1978 Inspector General Act, which established the duties and responsibilities of the watchdog organizations.

The awards were handed out by the President's Council, which includes IGs appointed by the president, and the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency, which includes IGs who are appointed by agency heads.

Winners included the asset forfeiture team at the Agriculture Department that handled National Football League quarterback Michael Vick's dog-fighting operation, and the team from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Office that investigated the physical soundness of the Mosul Dam.

The Sentner Award for Dedication and Courage, the IG community's highest honor, went posthumously to Paul Converse, a special auditor with the Iraq Reconstruction IG office who was killed in Iraq last March.

Marlane Evans, deputy inspector general for audit at Agriculture won the Alexander Hamilton Award, while the department's Link Team won the Gaston L. Gianni, Jr. Better Government Award for its investigation of electronic benefits transfer fraud. The Transportation Department team that investigated lapses in the Federal Aviation Administration's inspections program at Southwest Airlines won the Glenn/Roth Award for Exemplary Service. Education Department Inspector General John Higgins Jr., won the June Gibbs Brown Career Achievement Award. James Noeth, deputy inspector general for audit at the National Science Foundation, and Housing and Urban Development Department special agent Edwin Bonano both won awards for individual accomplishment.

-Alyssa Rosenberg, GovExec.com

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