Report | Nov. 4, 2014

Task Force to Improve Timeliness of Senior Official Administrative Investigations (Redacted)

DODIG-2015-030

Objective

At the request of the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the DoD IG led a task force to review and improve the timeliness of senior official administrative investigations. The task force reviewed data, processes, policies, and resources, and examined proposed changes to conduct more efficient and timely investigations. The task force prepared a plan of action consisting of short-, medium-, and long-range goals to implement the task force recommendations.

Findings

  • In FY 2014, the DoD and Service IGs completed 243 senior official investigations in an average of 271 days.
  • Timeliness is impacted by volume of work, complexity of cases, and staffing.
  • Each Service IG faces staffing cuts that will adversely affect timeliness of investigations.
  • Each senior official investigating office has unique processes, different report formats, and different automation tools to record and track investigations.
  • Over the last several years, the DoD and Service IGs have updated processes to improve the timeliness of senior official investigations.
  • The DoD and Service IGs should prioritize senior official investigations consistent with Department priorities.

Optimal Timeline

The task force recommends incremental goals to complete the majority of priority senior official investigations within 120 days by FY 2017:

  • FY 2015: complete majority of priority investigations within 180 days
  • FY 2016: complete majority of priority investigations within 150 days
  • FY 2017: complete majority of priority investigations within 120 days

Recommendations

The task force recommendations promote the efficient use of resources to improve the timeliness of senior official investigations, while maintaining professional standards to conduct thorough and impartial investigations.

The task force recommends the Deputy Secretary of Defense support adequate resource levels and mission capability for the Inspector General offices throughout the DoD.

The task force recommends the Service Secretaries not impose staff reductions planned for the Military Service Inspectors General and support adequate resource levels and surge capability to enable conducting senior official investigations in a timely manner.

The task force also recommends DoD OIG and the Military Service Inspectors General:

  • Deploy the DoD OIG’s case tracking system across the Department to increase efficiencies and timeliness throughout the entire investigative cycle.
  • Implement a standardized system of investigative milestones.
  • Review the intake and investigative processes and implement best practices to increase timeliness and efficiency.
  • Conduct uniform training tailored to senior official administrative investigators.
  • Conduct recurring staffing studies to gauge progress toward optimal timeliness.