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 300 (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 inspects each of the approximately 260 embassies, diplomatic posts, and international broadcasting installations throughout the world to determine whether policy goals are being achieved and whether the interests of the United States are being represented and advanced effectively.

Additionally, OIG performs specialized security inspections and audits in support of the Department's mission to provide effective protection to the personnel, facilities, and sensitive information. OIG also audits Department and BBG operations and activities to ensure that they are as effective, efficient, and economical as possible. Finally, OIG investigates instances of fraud, waste, and mismanagement that may constitute either criminal wrongdoing or violation of Department and BBG regulations.[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]

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.


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


Inspector General Steve A. Linick

To conduct independent audits, inspections, evaluations, and investigations to promote economy and efficiency and to prevent and detect waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the programs and operations of the Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.


Integrity We remain independent, striving to maintain the highest level of trust, integrity, and professionalism. Our work is fact-based, objective, and supported by sufficient, appropriate evidence in accordance with professional standards. This means:

  • Performing our work free from prejudice, bias, outside influence, or conflict of interest
  • Providing accurate, objective information to stakeholders
  • Maintaining our independence both in fact and in appearance
  • Complying with laws, regulations, and ethical standards
  • Honoring and protecting confidential information

Accountability We accept responsibility for our work products and services, upholding the highest professional standards by evaluating and measuring our results against stated performance measures and targets. We strive to ensure that our work is relevant, credible, and timely. This means:

  • Accepting responsibility for our behavior
  • Keeping commitments
  • Informing people early if we encounter barriers to meeting commitments
  • Holding each other responsible to model OIG behaviors

Teamwork Our success depends on working together and fostering an inclusive and mutually supportive environment. Our work environment encourages collaboration, innovation, flexibility, and integration of OIG resources. This means:

  • Sharing our knowledge and information (as appropriate) to help each other be successful
  • Extending trust to one another and focusing on maintaining that trust—and where needed—restoring trust
  • Acknowledging the role and value each person brings to the team
  • Collaborating with each other in interdisciplinary teams across OIG—auditors, inspectors, evaluators or investigators

Communication We clarify expectations up front and communicate openly, honestly, and accurately with our associates and our stakeholders. We look for ways to improve ourselves and our work products by seeking, giving, and using both praise and constructive feedback. This means:

  • Engaging in clear, regular, and timely communication.
  • Listening actively to improve mutual understanding of other points of view and intentions.
  • Speaking directly with individuals to resolve conflict.
  • Asking for, giving, and applying feedback to continuously improve.
  • Seeking opportunities to increase skills and knowledge and identifying better ways to perform our work.

Respect We promote diversity and equal opportunity throughout the organization. We value and respect the views of others.


People and Infrastructure

  • Invest in our people to attract, develop, and maintain a highly qualified, motivated and results-oriented workforce
  • Strengthen internal operations, platforms, and processes to give them the tools to accomplish their mission


  • Provide timely, high quality, and independent products and services that promote accountability and effective management in the Department and the BBG.


  • Engage stakeholders and employees in order to conduct effective oversight and address priorities and challenges of the Department and BBG.[1]


View OIG Organizational Chart[4]

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]

Congressional & Public Affairs[edit]

The Congressional & Public Affairs' (CPA) mission is to facilitate effective working relationships between the OIG and Congress and act as a liaison with Congress and the media to explain OIG initiatives and programs and to promote the activities of all OIG offices.[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.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "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" (PDF). Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  4. ^ OIG Organizational Chart. "OIG Organizational Chart" (PDF). Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "OIG Hotline".