Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation

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Logo for the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation
Calvin Scovel III, the Inspector General of the United States Department of Transportation.

The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation (OIG) is one of the Inspector General offices created by the Inspector General Act of 1978. The Inspector General for the Department of Transportation, like the Inspectors General of other federal departments and agencies, is charged with monitoring and auditing department programs to combat waste, fraud, and abuse.

The Inspector General is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and assists Congress, the Secretary of Transportation, and senior department officials in achieving a safe, efficient, and effective transportation system that meets the national interests and enhances the quality of life.

Under the Inspector General Act of 1978, the Office of Inspector General is given autonomy to do its work without political interference. Although chosen by the President, Inspectors General are required to be selected based on integrity and ability, not political affiliation. The Inspector General Act of 1978 prevents officials in the scrutinized agency from interfering with audits or investigations and requires the IG to keep the Secretary of Transportation and Congress informed of findings, although much of OIG's work is accomplished with the cooperation of officials whose programs are being reviewed.

The OIG carries out its mission by issuing audit reports, evaluations, and management advisories with findings and recommendations to improve program delivery and performance. In fiscal year 2006, OIG issued 76 audit reports, which identified more than $893 million in financial recommendations.

The Inspector General[edit]

As of 2006, the Inspector General was Calvin L. Scovel, III. Scovel was nominated by President Bush on July 13, 2006, confirmed by the United States Senate on September 29, 2006, and sworn in on October 27, 2006.

Scovel joined DOT after 30 years of active service in the U.S. Marine Corps and retired as a Brigadier General. His last military assignment was as a senior judge on the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. He previously served as Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Navy for Military Justice, the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and the Judge Advocate General on all criminal justice policy matters. Mr. Scovel also commanded a military police battalion, which provided all security and law enforcement services for Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia.

Scovel served as senior legal advisor for the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, which included all Marine amphibious forces in Operation Desert Storm, and in a NATO exercise in Norway. In addition, he previously served as legal advisor for a Marine amphibious unit deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, where it conducted exercises in Japan, the Philippines, Kenya, and Australia. He was prosecutor or defense counsel in 250 courts-martial that included charges of murder, rape, child sexual assault, and drug trafficking.

As an adjunct faculty member for the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies, Scovel led instruction teams in the rule of law and civilian control of the military for senior civilian and military officials in Honduras, Mauritius, Albania, and Serbia. Scovel, who was in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, has received military awards including the Legion of Merit (four awards) and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Scovel is the sixth person to serve as DOT Inspector General. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) was established by law in 1978 to provide the Secretary and Congress with objective and independent reviews of the efficiency and effectiveness of DOT operations and activities.

By statute, the Inspector General also conducts investigations into whether Federal laws and regulations were followed and must report suspected civil and criminal violations to the Attorney General. In Fiscal Year 2006, OIG investigations resulted in 169 indictments, 177 convictions and nearly $49 million in fines, restitutions and recoveries.

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