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Former DCI Webster, Former IGs Return to Celebrate OIG 25 Year Anniversary

“This is a very important milestone not just in the IG’s history, but in the CIA’s history,” Director John Brennan said on Tuesday, 4 November, at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) as the Agency’s independent oversight body. In 1989, the Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed Inspector General (IG) replaced the Director-appointed IG, an office created in 1952. The D/CIA, IG David Buckley, and former Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) William Webster spoke at the ceremony. “Our Office of the IG is the oldest in the federal government—the oversight by this office has been critical to our success,” the D/CIA said.

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Former DCI William Webster

D/CIA Brennan, Inspector General Buckley, and former DCI William Webster—who was DCI when the statutory OIG was created—all expressed the importance of the OIG. “The OIG provides an independent, responsible, and confidential channel for reporting waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct,” the D/CIA said. Former DCI Webster added to that sentiment: “For many years, this agency was plagued with investigations and concerns about whether we were doing things right—people demanded more accountability. The establishment of the OIG helped that.” Buckley added the OIG’s current perspective: “Having independent auditors and inspectors is critical to assuring the Director and American people that the CIA’s activities are being conducted in accordance with regulations and presidential policy directives.”

The OIG’s three components—audit, investigations, and inspections—recently passed external peer review evaluations, which were conducted according to the standards of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. The D/CIA congratulated the OIG on officers’ recent achievement: “All three groups met the council’s rigorous standards—further testimony to the professionalism and quality of their work,” Director Brennan said.

IG Buckley thanked the officers of the OIG: “My strongest acknowledgement of thanks goes to the staff of the OIG—the men and women who dug through the files, interviewed witnesses, and compared conduct to standard—you are the professionals. It is you whom we honor today.”

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CIA's four Presidentially appointed Inspectors General: (left to right) David Buckley, Fred Hitz, Britt Snider, and John Helgerson.

CIA’s first three statutory Inspectors General also attended the event. The first, Fred Hitz, served from 1990-1998 and was acknowledged for his leadership of the Aldrich Ames investigation. Britt Snider, Hitz’s successor who served from 1998 until 2002, was instrumental in drafting and passing the CIA Inspector General Act of 1989. John Helgerson, CIA’s third IG who served from 2002 to 2009, began his career as a CIA analyst and eventually rose to the rank of Deputy Director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, now the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Following the remarks, Buckley and the three former IGs answered questions from the audience during a panel session.

“We know the importance of secrecy and how important it is for the lives involved and safety of the country,” Webster said. “The IG process is in place and working well, showing that we are looking out for the constitution of the United States and the people of this country.”

Posted: Dec 03, 2014 12:39 PM
Last Updated: Dec 03, 2014 12:40 PM