Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps: Semi Annual Report to Congress

 

The Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps is mandated to report to Congress on a semi-annual basis.

Here is the report for the period,October 1, 2017  to March 31, 2018.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/documents/inspector-general/SARC_OCT17-MAR18_for_web.pdf

It is not our task to summarize the report.  We would like to call attention to  some sections of the Report which may be of special interest to the RPCV community.

The Inspector General continues its Review of the Peace Corps Information Security Program.  This statement  is from that Review:

“We contracted with accounting and management consulting firm Williams, Adley & Company-DC to assess the Peace Corps’ compliance with the provisions of FISMA. The objective of this review was to perform an independent assessment of the Peace Corps’ information security program, including testing the effectiveness of security controls for a subset of systems as required, for FY 2017.

The review found that the Peace Corps lacks an effective information security program because of problems related to people, processes, technology, and culture. Furthermore, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) found weaknesses across all of the FISMA reportable areas. There are several FISMA findings that have been outstanding for over 7 years and the agency has struggled to implement corrective actions.

OIG is concerned about the quality of the IT security program, especially considering the sensitive data that the Peace Corps maintains, such as health records and sexual assault incident information about Peace Corps Volunteers.

To ensure that the agency’s information, operations, and assets are protected, it is critical that the Peace Corps achieve full compliance with FISMA and other Federal laws and regulations that apply to managing its IT security infrastructure. The Peace Corps needs to embrace a risk-based culture and place greater emphasis on the importance of a robust information security program by involving senior leadership, ensuring agency policies are comprehensive, and prioritizing the time and resources necessary to become fully FISMA compliant and eliminate weaknesses.

Management concurred with all 20 recommendations, and all 20 remained open at the end of this reporting period.”  Page 12

Also, the OIG is conducting Country Evaluations:

Costa Rica -Page 17

Albania,  -Page 18

Peru: Follow Up Review -Page 19

Under the Section, Investigations, the Report states this Overview:

Investigations

“The Investigation Unit is authorized to conduct investigations of waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in Peace Corps programs and operations, both domestically and internationally. The unit investigates allegations of both criminal wrongdoing and administrative misconduct involving Peace Corps staff, contractors, Volunteers, and other individuals conducting transactions with the Peace Corps. Allegations are made by Peace Corps stakeholders such as Volunteers, trainees, staff, contractors, other federal entities, and the general public. OIG receives these allegations through audits, evaluations, Hotline complaints, and other means. OIG investigators have full law enforcement authority, including the authority, upon probable cause, to seek and execute warrants for arrest, search premises, and seize evidence. They are authorized to carry firearms and to make arrests without a warrant while engaged in official duties. In addition, OIG receives investigative support from the Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security.”

       One of those investigations concerned the Death of a Volunteer in Africa, Page 23

To read the OIG’s report from April 1,  to September 30, 2017, here is a link: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/peace-corps-office-of-the-inspector-general-semiannual-report-to-congress/

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