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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
16-N-0317
September 21, 2016
Why We Did This Review
We reviewed the Council of the
Inspectors General on Integrity
and Efficiency's (CIGIE's)
Inspection and Evaluation (l&E)
pilot External Peer Review
(EPR) process. Specifically, we
evaluated whether the EPR pilot
process (1) provided a basis to
ensure CIGIE Quality Standards
for Inspection and Evaluation
are achieved; and (2) identified
lessons learned and best
practices, and whether
recommendations were
incorporated into subsequent
training and guidance.
CIGIE is establishing an
external peer review process to
provide assurance that Offices
of Inspector General adhere to
the professional standards
established in the 2012 CIGIE
Quality Standards for Inspection
and Evaluation, also called the
"Blue Book." These standards
were developed to help ensure
a level of quality, objectivity and
independence in the work of
offices that adopt the standards.
This report addresses the
following U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency Office of
Inspector General goal:
 Be the best in public
service.
Send all inquiries to our public
affairs office at (202) 566-2391
or visit www.epa.gov/oiq.
Listing of OIG reports.
Examination of Pilot Peer Review Process for
Inspectors General That Follow "Blue Book"
Quality Standards for Inspection and Evaluation
What We Found
The EPR process provides a basis for
determining participants' adherence to
seven of 14 Blue Book standards. All
14 quality standards in the EPR process
are needed to provide a reasonable basis
that Inspectors General who adopt the Blue
Book quality standards are being
adequately evaluated.
A peer review process that
measures adherence to all the
quality standards established for
federal Inspector General
Inspection and Evaluation offices
provides assurance that
participating offices are being
adequately evaluated.
We identified the following best practices for conducting peer reviews of l&E units:
	Continue using EPR teams comprised of staff from multiple l&E units.
	Continue to support time management by encouraging offsite access to
documents needed to conduct the EPR.
We found opportunities for EPR improvement, including the following:
	Develop a policy to conduct periodic reviews of the EPR process.
	Develop a policy to require that corrective actions are implemented if an
l&E unit is found deficient in adhering to all quality standards.
	Update the EPR guidance document to include a Blue Book standards
reference guide to promote consistent analysis of quality standards and
language to require that l&E units being reviewed have no input in the EPR
report selection process.
	Retain documents created to support peer review findings following the
completion of the EPR.
	Develop a pre-planning tool to assure that review team members possess the
prerequisites, such as security clearance or specific software skills, required
by the l&E unit being reviewed.
Suggestions
We suggest that all quality standards in the CIGIE peer review guidance be
evaluated, or seek a legal opinion concerning the appropriateness of a peer review
process that reviews adherence to only seven of 14 standards; develop a policy to
conduct periodic reviews of the effectiveness of the EPR process; require that
corrective actions are implemented if an l&E unit is found deficient in adhering to
all quality standards; update EPR guidance documents with best practices for peer
reviews; and develop a pre-EPR planning tool. The CIGIE l&E Roundtable agreed
with all the suggestions and has modified its draft Guide for Conducting Peer
Reviews. The Roundtable indicated it will recommend that the CIGIE l&E
Committee present these recommendations to the full CIGIE for consideration.

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