Federal Inspectors General: Overview, Authorities, and Oversight Issues


Emmett Cruz (Editor)

Series: Government Procedures and Operations
BISAC: POL030000

Federal inspectors general (IGs) are authorized to combat waste, fraud, and abuse within their affiliated federal entities. To execute their missions, offices of inspector general (OIGs) conduct and publish audits and investigations—among other duties. Two major enactments—the Inspector General Act of 1978 and its amendments of 1988 —established federal IGs as permanent, nonpartisan, and independent offices in more than 70 federal agencies. OIGs serve to assist Congress in overseeing executive branch—and a few legislative branch—agencies. They provide recommendations and findings to their affiliated agency head and to Congress that may save the government millions of dollars per year. As a result, Congress may have an interest in ensuring that federal OIGs have the appropriate authorities and access to information they need to perform their investigations, audits, and evaluations. Concurrently, Congress has a responsibility to protect some records and information, such as national security information or information about an ongoing criminal investigation, from improper release. This book provides background on the statutory creation of federal OIGs and provides historical context for contemporary debates about the strengths and limitations of the offices. Furthermore, this book provides context on the role of the Integrity Committee (IC) in investigating allegations of wrongdoing made against employees of the IG community. The book provides analysis of congressional proposals seeking to amend and improve the IC’s operations, and includes additional potential policy options for improvement of oversight of the IG community. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Federal Inspectors General: History, Characteristics, and Recent Congressional Actions
Wendy Ginsberg and Michael Greene

Chapter 2. Offices of Inspectors General and Law Enforcement Authority: In Brief
Wendy Ginsberg

Chapter 3. Oversight of the Inspector General Community: The IG Council’s Integrity Committee
Wendy Ginsberg

Chapter 4. Inspectors General: Oversight of Small Federal Agencies and the Role of the Inspectors General
Beryl H. Davis

Chapter 5. Statement of Michael E. Horowitz , Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice. Hearing on ”Inspectors General: Independence, Access and Authority”

Chapter 6. Statement of Arthur A. Elkins Jr., Inspector General, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Hearing on ”Inspectors General: Independence, Access and Authority”

Chapter 7. Testimony of Kathy A. Buller, Inspector General, U.S. Peace Corps. Hearing on ”Inspectors General: Independence, Access and Authority”

Chapter 8. Statement of Wendy Ginsberg, Analyst in American National Government, Congressional Research Service. Hearing on ”Strengthening Government Oversight: Examining the Roles and Effectiveness of Oversight Positions within the Federal Workforce”


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