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September 22, 2013
Phyllis Fong
USDA Inspector General and Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, Chair
Phyllis Fong BIO:
Phyllis Fong was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She received a B.A. in Asian studies from Pomona College in 1975 and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1978. In 1999 she was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed as Inspector General of the Small Business Administration. She was sworn in on December 2, 2002 as Inspector General at the Department of Agriculture. She was elected chair of the Council of Inspectors General in November, 2008.

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Info: Our guest is Phyllis Fong, the Inspector General of the United States Department of Agriculture. She discusses her role within the Agriculture Department as well as her duties as Chair of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE). Fong talks about current short and long term vacancies throughout the Inspectors General community. The State Department, as an example, has not had a permanent Inspector General since 2008. She explains the variety of reasons for these vacancies and says she would prefer that all positions be approved and filled. Fong says that although she serves as Inspector General in the Obama Administration, she was appointed by President Bush over ten years ago. She praises the recent work by Internal Revenue Service Inspector Russell George in uncovering irregularities in the IRSí review of tax exemptions for conservative political groups. She talks about her motivations for spending her life in government service. In addition, she describes the I.G. Academy, where Inspectors General and their staffs take courses in auditing, investigations, inspection and evaluation.

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