Office of the Inspector General of the Department of State
|Employees||Approximately 1,600 (2011)|
|Federal agency||United States|
|General nature||Inspector General
|Parent agency||Department of State|
|Agency head||Inspector General Steve A. Linick|
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. OIG is a member of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.
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.
According to OIG's public Website, the Inspector General Act of 1978 and the Foreign Service Act of 1980 charged OIG with:
- detecting and preventing waste, fraud and mismanagement;
- assessing whether foreign policy goals are being achieved;
- ensuring efficient use of resources; and
- ensuring financial accounts and transactions are properly conducted and reported.
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.
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.