Inspectorate

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An Inspectorate or Inspectorate-General (or General Inspectorate) is a civil or military body charged with inspecting and reporting on some institution or institutions in its field of competence. Inspectorates cover a broad spectrum of organizations which vary in a number of terms, notably whether and to the degree to which they become involved in criminal investigations; the extent to which they achieve independence from the institutions being inspected; as well as the nature of their inspection regimes and reporting processes.

Inspectorates are commonplace in government; for example, in the United States, there are some 73 standard form Office of the Inspector Generals charged with examining the actions of a government agency, military organization, or military contractor as a general auditor of their operations and headed by an Inspector General. Inspectorates in various jurisdictions oversee civil activities such as mining and the nuclear industry. Many regulatory agencies incorporate inspectorate functions relating to markets and the companies operating in those markets.

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