WASHINGTON: Last week, leaders from the Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs) for the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of State (State), and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) concluded a joint trip to Belgium and the Netherlands to meet with U.S., allied officials, and international oversight counterparts in furtherance of their comprehensive oversight over the United States’ Ukraine response.
In Belgium, the OIG leaders met with European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officials, establishing key relationships to inform their oversight of U.S. security and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
In the Netherlands, the USAID OIG hosted the Complex Emergencies Working (CEWG) group, an annual forum of U.S. oversight and law enforcement professionals, and delegates from UN agency oversight bodies and bilateral donors. This year’s forum focused on oversight of aid to Ukraine, offering attendees the opportunity to share lessons learned and best practices in pursuing investigations of criminal activity in non-permissive environments.
“Communicating with stakeholders and international partners provides the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General perspective on the oversight challenges we face domestically and internationally,” said Sean O’Donnell, Acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense. “Along with our partners at the Department of State and USAID OIGs, we will continue to take these shared insights and experiences and apply them to the oversight of our agencies and their provision of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine.”
Diana Shaw, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of State, commented: “The opportunity to engage with officials and leaders from NATO, the European Union, and several international organizations on Ukraine response activities has deepened our understanding of the policy, operational risks, and challenges the U.S. government faces in responding to the unprecedented conflict in Ukraine.
Alongside Department of Defense and USAID OIGs, we can use this information to continue to shape a comprehensive and coordinated approach to ensure effective oversight of this high-stakes response effort.”
Nicole Angarella, Acting Deputy Inspector General, performing the duties of the Inspector General for U.S. Agency For International Development commented “These gatherings of oversight and law enforcement professionals send a powerful message across the international aid sector: We are united – and we will use our collective knowledge, contacts, information sharing, and tools to detect and disrupt criminal activity compromising the United States’ Ukraine response. USAID OIG will continue to work closely with its partners at the OIGs for the Departments of State and Defense to cast a wide net in overseeing U.S. assistance to Ukraine.”
By traveling to the region and meeting with U.S. and international stakeholders directly, the OIGs gained real-time information and insights that will enable them to identify oversight opportunities in areas of high risk and further coordinate oversight of critical areas where the activities of their respective agencies overlap.