Survey Results on Access to Information Problems Encountered by
Federal, State, and Local Accountability Organizations

Evaluation and Inspections Report I-2006-006
June 2006
Office of the Inspector General


Through a nationwide survey, 128 accountability organizations told us that the access problems they experience while conducting financial audits, performance audits, evaluations, inspections, and investigations are usually resolved successfully. Overall, these survey respondents are satisfied with the relatively stable 3-year trend and current state of access to information.

Initial resistance to providing records and unavailability or uncooperativeness of specific people are the most common problems that delay the progress of accountability reviews for survey respondents, but outright denials of access to records and people are rare. The sources of most access problems for survey respondents are the slow response by managers to requests for information from the accountability organization, insufficient personnel to gather and provide the information, too much other work to respond to the accountability organization, and privacy or confidentiality concerns about the information requested.

To gain access to information and establish productive working relationships, survey respondents use a variety of strategies. Some useful strategies mentioned frequently by survey respondents include addressing issues early in the process, encouraging managers to support access to information, communicating frequently with organizations under review, and ensuring the protection of sensitive information.

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