By Rob Starr, Big4.com, Content Manager
David Buckley, former Inspector General for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has joined KPMG LLP as a managing director in its Forensic Advisory Services. He was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama and served as Inspector General for the CIA from October 2010 to January 2015 and his new role will involve providing investigative and integrity advisory services to civilian agencies within the Federal government, entailing fraud risk assessments, compliance and ethics program development and integrity monitoring. Big4.com spoke with him recently.
“Having had the opportunity to spend a career looking at and mitigating risk, I’ve found that while most federal employees, contractors, participants and citizens want to do the right thing and work at doing the right thing, there’s always unfortunately a level of conduct both
inside and outside that had to be addressed,” he said.
U.S. General Accounting Office
Buckley’s previous investigative and leadership roles include work within the Inspector General offices of the U.S. Department of Treasury for Tax Administration as well as for the U.S. Department of Defense and for the Office of Special Investigations for the then U.S. General Accounting Office. He had also spent three years in the private sector as a consultant to Federal national security clients at Deloitte. All of these arrows make for an impressive quiver that he brings to his work at KPMG, where he’ll be taking aim at intentional misconduct and the criminal element.
“I’ll also be looking at weaknesses in systems that allow that behavior to succeed,” he said adding he sees collaborations and conversations with federal program managers as a fulcrum whereby these weaknesses can be exposed and risks further mitigated.
Buckley touched on automation in modern business and how it can have a pivotal influence.
“If the process isn’t properly aligned and doesn’t have the risk mitigation properly built in that can be automated, we’ve got problems,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whether we have a federal program that’s delivering direct services to its citizens or a system that’s collecting revenue, if the process that’s been built up and established isn’t sound, you’ll have large potential problems in the system.”
One of the areas where improvement is needed is in the controls that are built-in to mitigate risk. Buckley says systems are not always well designed and often lack the controls necessary to protect them from waste and abuse.
“Once automated, it’s very hard to rebake that cake,” he says, “and it’s even harder to identify the losses and go after them. Pay and chase is not where you want to be when you’re dealing with taxpayers’ money.”