Office of the Inspector General Semiannual Report to Congress (NUREG-1415, Volume 34, No. 2)
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Date Published: October 2020
Reporting Period: April 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020
Office of the Inspector General
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555
A Message from the Inspector General
It is my pleasure to present my first Semiannual Report to Congress as Inspector General of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB). While there's no question that onboarding as an Inspector General during a global pandemic has presented its own unique challenges, it is also true that doing so created, by necessity, real efficiencies and tangible opportunities to streamline our operations. The warm and welcoming reception I received from my dedicated staff was not diminished in any manner by having to engage virtually, rather than in-person. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this extraordinary group of managers, auditors, investigators, and support staff, and I'm proud of their exceptional work.
This report highlights some of that work, completed between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. During this time, we issued thirteen audit and evaluation reports, and recommended several ways to improve NRC and DNFSB safety, security, and corporate management programs. We also opened fourteen investigative cases and completed twenty-three, two of which were referred to the Department of Justice, and three of which were referred to NRC management for action.
Our reports are intended to strengthen the NRC's and DNFSB's oversight of their myriad endeavors and reflect the legislative mandate of the Inspector General Act, which is to identify and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. Summaries of the reports herein include reviews of the NRC's property management program, emergency preparedness program, surveillance test inspection program, and integrated materials performance evaluation program. We also highlighted our review of the oversight of radiation safety officers and the implementation of the drug-free workplace program, as well as cases involving grant fraud at a university, employee misconduct, depleted uranium on military bases, and government credit card fraud. Further, this report includes summaries of the legislatively mandated reports we issued, such as reviews of our compliance with relevant congressional Acts, and of the NRC's and the DNFSB's plans for returning employees to federal offices considering the COVID-19 pandemic.
One need only read a snapshot of the latest current event headlines to see the dramatic changes that are afoot with respect to the critical role of Inspectors General in the government, and the growing reliance on them. Consequently, my vision for the office embodies significant growth in several key areas, including but not limited to expanded public outreach and the maintenance of a greater online and/or social media presence, broader congressional outreach and dialogue, expanding our personnel roster to meet the growing demand for IG services, information technology upgrades, and finding a larger, more updated, and more suitable physical workspace to accommodate our evolving needs, in order to create what I hope will be a "state-of-the-art" Office of Inspector General.
Our team dedicates their efforts to promoting the integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness of NRC and DNFSB programs and operations, and I greatly appreciate their commitment to that mission. Our success would not be possible without the collaborative efforts between my staff and those of the NRC and the DNFSB to address OIG findings and implement corrective actions in a timely manner. I thank them for their dedication, and I look forward to continued cooperation as we work together to ensure the integrity and efficiency of agency operations.
Robert J. Feitel
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