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Press Release

Sophia Pretrick Undertakes OJT at the US Department of Interior, Office of the Inspector General

Sophia Pretrick, Investigator III, of the Compliance Investigation Division (CID) attended on-the-job training at the U.S Department of Interior (DOI) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in Washington D.C and Virgina from March 3 to May 10, 2008.

The Technical Assistance program for capacity building provided by the US DOI/OIG to the FSM Office of National Public Auditor (ONPA) continually organizes on-the-job training with DOI/OIG to expose local ONPA staff to the latest techniques and procedures of audits and investigations. The programs enhance the staff capacity to perform their duties effectively and efficiently. In addition, such ongoing capacity building effort is an essential part of ONPA revised Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2008 to 2010.

Ms. Pretrick's 60-day training involved an extensive combination of three different areas relative to investigation and management techniques. According to Ms. Pretrick, she worked with OIG's Program Integrity Division (PI) in the Main Office in Washington DC, Investigative Support Division, including the Acquisition Integrity Unit (AIU), and the Operations Unit in Reston Virginia and with the Investigations Division, at the Eastern Region Office in Herndon, Virginia. Generally, the training opportunities had provided her with motivation and encouragement to look beyond ONPA's limited resources and utilize the wide-range of knowledge, training tools and guidance provided by DOI/OIG on fraud prevention, detection and investigation. The training provided to her ranged from conducting witness interviews, gathering and analyzing documents, managing case, to investigation procedures and methodologies.

One of the highlights of the training was the development and compilation of a Procurement Program Proposal and the Fraud Awareness Briefing (FAB). This is a joint effort between Ms. Pretrick and the AIU staff. The Procurement Program Proposal addresses the problems in the FSM National procurement processes and ways to reduce fraud directed against the contracting systems and enhance the public trust for the government. The FAB is designed to carry out fraud prevention and deterrence training in the FSM government. These work products will be used by CID in their proactive fraud prevention and detection efforts within the Government.

According to Pretrick, the training increased her skills and knowledge in investigation as well as management techniques. It has given her confidence to undertake challenging work activities, which in turn will provide greater opportunities to increase her skills and knowledge.

The training was coordinated and arranged by the FSM Public Auditor Haser Hainrick, OIG Liaison for Insular Affairs Ben Privitt, and Director of Investigation and Support Division, Scott Culver.

The Office of the National Public Auditor extends its appreciation to the DOI/OIG staff, particularly those who facilitated and contributed to the success of this training endeavor.


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