Saturday, February 28, 2015

This blog used to be random thoughts about auditing. As auditing slips out of my consciousness I will now address random thoughts about creating art.  Several years ago I realized that whatever I was working on would eventually be successful.  Sometimes I would leave my studio frustrated and think that I would never finish a piece.  Then I would come back with fresh eyes and see that I was almost there.  Recently I happened upon some writing from other artists that confirms what I learned.  Here is  quote from an artist, Teresita Fernandez, that another artist, Lauren Mantecon, posted on her Facebook page.

"A kind of panic sets in the very next day, an urge to get into the studio because you know you have to start all over again, building something from nothing, seeking the company of those trusted beneficial failures, waiting for those absurd internal dialogues with your own gang of voices.  It's not a very glamorous scenario.  But this is precisely what internal success looks like.  It is visible only to yourself and while you can trick the rest of the world into thinking you are a good artist, you can never really convince yourself, which is why you keep trying.  If you're lucky and motivated enough to keep making art, life is quiet, you get to work at what you love doing, happily chipping away at something, constructing something, adjusting to a cycle of highs and lows and in between, and it doesn't matter if you've been doing it for two years or 50 years, the patterns remain exactly the same.  The anxiety continues to set in, the doubts creep in, the baby steps towards mending fragments starts all over again, the cautious urge to peek between the cracks is there.  When you find yourself in that place, that's when you'll know that the inside is driving the outside."

I have also been reading Ellen J. Langer a psychologist who has done interesting work on "mindfulness" and one started to paint.  She states "All it takes to become an artist is to start doing art."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I'm back...

It's been over a year since I posted on this blog.  I used to have time in the morning before going to work to write about thoughts I had.  But then I got a new dog that needed walking in the morning and that took all my spare time.  It is nine months until I leave office and potentially auditing all together.  I am going to try to post my thoughts as I look back on 20 years of auditing.  Who would have thought...

One of things I've been thinking about lately is the new generation of auditors.  Do they have the passion to make government better or are they focused on the auditing standards and the process?  When I started I had never heard of performance auditing but it sounded like what I had been trying to accomplish in various government positions over the years.  I think I have mentioned this before but one of the things that inspired me to go to graduate school was a supervisor telling me that what I was attempting to change couldn't be changed where I was at.  I decided to go back, get a masters and start my career at the policy level. And then I saw that ad for a position that sounded like what I was doing but also sounded so much better.  And my career began.

More later hopefully.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The power of the crowd

This is an interesting story about the power of crowd sourcing. I wonder if it would be possible to crowd source audit work!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shining a light

I've always felt that our job of shining a light had intrinsic value.  At least someone was looking and by our "shining a light" maybe others would too.  Here is another who has the same believe in a different milieu.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Social Media Performance Measures

Here is an interesting story about the Washington Post trying to adjust to the digital age. "Employees are schooled in the lingo of web traffic."  (p.2)  Interesting things to note:

  • 35 different daily reports track traffic to different parts of the web site
  • Editors receive a performance alert each day telling them whether the site is on track to meet its traffic goals
  • Even if traffic is low to some pages, if the online visitor is from a government suffix web site, who they consider a main audience, they will support those pages
Makes me wonder how government should be looking at traffic.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Auditing the DoS

I just can't fathom an auditor performing an audit of the military. Here is an audit by the Special Inspector General for Iraq reconstruction. The first sentence in the summary is a statement that the work was impaired by the lack of cooperation of the Department of State. Auditors had to write the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton to gain cooperation. And then auditors found "only a relatively small portion of program funds—about 12%—will be used to pay for advising, mentoring, and developing the Iraqi police forces." The rest of the funding was for security and life support. The auditors state "Without specific goals, objectives, and performance measures, the PDP could become a “bottomless pit” for U.S. dollars intended for mentoring, advising, and training the Iraqi police forces." Where else could you find this type of information? And what must it be like to do audit work in this climate ?