On 4/1/2010 1:20:31 PM Christine M. Byrne, chief of IG Outreach wrote:
Between 23 and 25 March 2010, U.S. Africa Command held its first Inspector General (IG) Conference at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana. The conference was hosted by the Command’s Inspector General, Colonel Ronald Baldinger, and the Commands Chief of IG Outreach, Christine Byrne, from the U.S. Agency for International Developments Office of Inspector General.
The stated conference goals were to:
- Enhance the understanding of how Inspectors General serve as a sound construct for defense oversight and for strengthening confidence, morale and trust within a military service.
- Develop a basic understanding of several functions of Inspectors General within a select number of countries and organizations.
- Enhance the understanding of how corruption influences government’s ability to care for and protect its people, and how Inspectors General can assist in fighting corruption within the Military.
- Develop a basic understanding of United States government ethics and standards of conduct required for its public servants and officials, and how these standards contribute to the above goals.
Conference participants included senior military leaders and inspectors general from 21 African nations located throughout the continent. Representatives from U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Army Africa, U.S. Naval Forces Africa, and the Utah National Guard, as well as the principal deputy for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General, Ms. Lynne Halbrooks, provided presentations on the U.S. Inspector General system within the U.S. military and the Department of Defense.
Colonel Nicolas Casanova from the French Inspection Generale des Armees (IGA) spoke about the French Inspector General System. In addition, several thought-provoking presentations on the impact of corruption in Africa and anticorruption efforts being taken within the continent were provided by representatives from the African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption, the Anticorruption Commission of Sierra Leone, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Initial feedback from participants was extremely positive. In fact, several participants requested future conferences and training on the topic of Inspectors General to enhance and further develop the IG functions within their own country. The conference highlight was the closing address by the Commander of U.S. Africa Command, General William “Kip” Ward, who spoke to the great value of Inspectors General and his experiences with them throughout his career. IGs, in whatever function or capacity, have a great impact on the success of the organizations that they are associated with. I’ve always known this and am glad that it is being embraced more and more by our partners. After all, IGs really are here to help!!