Office of the Inspector General of the Department of State

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Department of State
Office of the Inspector General
Formed 1987
Employees Approximately 250 (2014)
Federal agency United States
General nature Inspector General
Civilian agency
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Parent agency Department of State
Agency head Inspector General Steve A. Linick
Website Official website

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent office within the U.S. Department of State with a primary responsibility to prevent and detect waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement. OIG conducts audits, inspections, and investigations, and reports on the activities of bureaus, embassies, and consulates to ensure that foreign policy is being effectively executed, and that programs and operations are effectively and efficiently managed.[1] OIG is a member of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.[2]


With the passage of the Inspector General Act of 1978 by Congress, all federal departments were mandated to create Offices of Inspector General. This Act imposes a dual reporting requirement on inspectors general to both their agency heads and to Congress. The Inspector General of the Department of State was one of the last federal OIGs to be created.[3]


To be a world-class organization promoting effective management, accountability, and positive change in the Department of State, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and the foreign affairs community.


Inspector General Steve A. Linick

The Office of Inspector General conducts independent audits, inspections, and investigations that advance the missions of the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors. OIG provides leadership to:

  • promote integrity, efficiency, effectiveness, and economy;
  • prevent and detect waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement;
  • identify vulnerabilities and recommend constructive solutions;
  • offer expert assistance to improve Department and BBG operations;
  • communicate timely, useful information that facilitates decision-making and achieves measurable gains; and
  • keep the Department, BBG, and the Congress fully and currently informed.

The Department of State established an internal inspection office in 1906 (S/IG) – however, this function transferred to the OIG under the Foreign Service Act of 1980. The Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986, section 4861, specifically directed “the Secretary of State to proceed immediately to establish an Office of Inspector General of the Department of State not later than October 1, 1986…” This section includes duties and responsibilities authorized, and limitations on the appointment of an inspector general.

CORE Values[edit]

Credibility. OIG is committed to the highest standards of accountability, independence, integrity, and professionalism.
Objectivity. OIG's reports and other products are factual, accurate, informative, and reliable.
Relevance. An independent agent for positive change, OIG provides valuable and timely service.
Effectiveness. OIG makes a difference. OIG's impact is enhanced by working cooperatively, in a spirit of teamwork, internally and with other organizations.[1]


Organizational chart of the US Department of State Office of Inspector General as of September 2011

Office of Audits[edit]

The Office of Audits has a leading role in helping the U.S. Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) improve management; strengthen integrity and accountability; and ensure the most efficient, effective, and economical use of resources. Their activities are global in scope, supporting the highest priorities of the Department. They also provide oversight for the United States Section, International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC).[1]

Office of Inspections[edit]

The Office of Inspections provides the Secretary of State and Congress with systematic and independent evaluations of the operations of the Department, its posts abroad, and related activities. OIG schedules an inspection of each post and bureau within a 5-year cycle in accordance with the Foreign Service Act of 1980.[1]

Office of Investigations[edit]

The Office of Investigations is committed to addressing allegations in an independent and objective manner, conducting criminal, civil and administrative investigations affecting programs and operations, encouraging professional development, and assisting the Department and agencies in preventing, as well as detecting, fraud.[1]

Office of General Counsel[edit]

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) provides legal advice to the Inspector General, his senior staff, and others in OIG on the full range of activities within OIG, including inspections, investigations and audits. OGC is responsible for managing OIG's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act programs. The Counsel to the Inspector General reports to the Inspector General, and is independent from the State Department's Legal Adviser and BBG's General Counsel.[1]

Office of the Executive Director[edit]

The office of the Executive Director (EX) is committed to providing timely, accurate and comprehensive administrative support services to the Bureau of the Office of Inspector General. The Executive Office provides support services in the areas of Budget, Human Resources, Information Technology, Workforce Planning, Reports and Publications, and General Support Services (GSO). The office is headed by the Assistant Inspector General for Administration.[1]


The OIG’s Hotline is a clearinghouse for receiving and handling allegations regarding fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement or misconduct affecting Department of State and BBG programs and operations. Examples of allegations that should be reported to the OIG Hotline include: false claims; contract fraud; computer crimes; bribes and gratuities; conflict of interest and ethics violations; significant mismanagement and waste of funds; theft from programs receiving federal funds; theft of government property; embezzlement of government funds; and standards of conduct violations.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Office of Inspector General Website". 
  2. ^ "Council of Inspectors General Website". 
  3. ^ Council of the Inspector General on Integrity and Efficiency. "Inspector General Act of 1978". Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "OIG Hotline".