Some of us have quirky habits. I happen to love etymology and thoroughly enjoy doing research. As my children can well attest, I drilled into them never really to believe what they read or are told is fact; always verify the information and go to the source, whenever possible. Even those “experts” in their fields, whether in government or out, make mistakes or may not know their subject matter as well as they think they do.
One of the things I learnt working on U.S. Government programs, whether they be contracts or grants, is that the Offices of the Inspector General (OIG) of the various government agencies put out some interesting reports that have a wealth of information.
I find these audits/reports very useful to understand:
- what a particular agency’s strengths and weaknesses might be,
- what the contractor/grantee can do to help the agency overcome its weaknesses,
- what the competition’s competencies and limitations are.
Even if the audit or report pertains to a certain agency or distinct area of performance or a specific geographical place, many of the issues usually addressed do apply across the board.
For example, the latest OIG audit on contract invoicing review by the Bureau of Narcotics and International Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) actually explains the invoicing process as well as the regulations that apply to invoicing. Program implementation benefits immensely from having program managers or contracts representatives aware of these resources.
Of course, keeping abreast of all these resources requires an enormous amount of time devoted outside of the regular work day. However, if you are quirky, like me, it is extremely rewarding!