FORT BELVOIR, Va. (May 7, 2018) -- The annual conference for Army inspectors general was held here April 17 through 19, bringing together more than 150 IGs from Army commands around the world to update them on new policies and other relevant topics, and to share Inspector General best practices.

During the conference, which took place at Fort Belvoir's Humphreys Hall, the civilian and military IGs also collaborated to begin planning the Department of the Army Inspector General's annual inspection plan, which synchronizes IG inspections and eliminates any duplicate inspections concurrently administered throughout the Army.

The inspection plan is a document that outlines the systemic inspections Army Inspector General Lt. Gen. Leslie C. "Les" Smith will recommend to the secretary of the Army for execution at the Army level in fiscal 2019 and 2020. The conference allows "field" IGs from throughout the Army to gather in one location and discuss and recommend to Smith inspection topics for inclusion in the inspection plan that they believe will have direct, wide-reaching applications for the Army.

During the conference, the field IGs suggested more than 50 ideas for inspection topics, which they offered based on guidance from their respective commanding generals or directing authorities, said Lt. Col. Deon Young, the operations office for DAIG's Directorate Integration Group, who helped oversee the collaborative process. Young and his team then provided Smith a list of the most relevant and insightful suggested inspection topics, which they will eventually narrow down to the four to six inspections that will be included in the inspection plan.

"The Worldwide IG Conference is about getting input from those Soldiers in the field," said Young, who attended his third straight conference this year. "We're able to talk and determine how many commands out there are doing similar or related inspections. What that helps us do at the IG is to not duplicate our efforts."

The goal, Young said, is to have the inspection plan written and presented to the secretary of the Army for approval by August or September, so it can then be printed and distributed to IG offices throughout the Army.

Lt. Col. Peter Caggiano, who attended the conference for the second year in a row, said the event was beneficial and the topics that the guest speakers discussed will "have a huge impact on how the IG enterprise does business."

"The ability [this conference has] to provide the IG enterprise with emerging and changing doctrine ensures that not only are 'best practices' shared, but that collective and thought-provoking questions are discussed," said Caggiano, chief of DAIG's Hotline branch.

Meeting with other IGs from different commands made it clear that those in the field conducting inspections are "engaged and curious" about their mission, said Caggiano.

"There are a lot of [evolving] changes to how we do business as IGs," said Caggiano, "and the audience's questions and concerns showed me that the thoughts of the DAIG are being validated based on the responses from the field [IGs]."

Guest speakers at this year's conference included Under Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy and Principal Deputy Inspector General for the Department of Defense Glenn Fine. IG representatives also briefed and updated attendees on topics such as the Army regulation that outlines IG activities and procedures, whistleblower reprisal, the IG Hotline, and various training seminars.