Inspector General (OIG), Office of the
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is part of the United States Department of State and serves as a reviewer of department operations. The office also handles claims of government fraud, waste, and abuse, whether reported by department personnel or outside sources. The inspector general is responsible for briefing the executive branch and Congress on oversight issues, as well as coordinating investigations undertaken by the inspection offices of other Federal departments.
One of the main subsidiaries of the OIG is the Office of Security and Intelligence Oversight. The oversight committee routinely examines the administration of intelligence and security programs. The inspections serve the overall Department of State responsibility of providing international security for U.S. personnel, information, economic interests, and property. More recently, special attention has been paid to the assessment of terrorism threats and counter-terrorism readiness plans in U.S. offices abroad.
The OIG also investigates general forms of government malpractice, such as embezzlement, theft of government property, abuse of power or position, and misconduct. If sufficient case evidence is found during an OIG investigation, the case can be recommended to legislative oversight committees or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) if necessary.
Other government departments have their own internal offices of Inspector General. Like that of the Department of State, some of these serve important functions in the greater intelligence community. The Inspector General of the Department of Energy aids the National Nuclear Security Administration, the commission responsible for assessing the current age, state, and safety of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In 2002, the Inspector General of the Treasury aided congressional investigations of large-scale corporate fraud and carried out a major review of the security structure protecting credit information and electronic funds transfers.
Many duties of the Office of the Inspector General coincide with those of the Department of Homeland Security. As the new department is established and grows, the umbrella structure surrounding the OIG will likely change.